A 20-year-old Wellington student has managed to get his pet fish to Auckland after causing delays on a Jetstar flight in Wellington today.
The two-month old black moor goldfish named Lil' b was kicked off Jetstar Flight JQ252 after an attendant told his owner James Ayr that Jetstar's policy was not to transport fish.
Ayr had advised Jetstar staff in Wellington about his fish when he checked in and presented his boarding pass.
Ayr told Fairfax staff rang the flight deck and got approval and he and Lil' b boarded the flight.
Ayr, who has 20 fish at home, said his tank was getting too crowded so he had decided he would surprise his girlfriend in Auckland with Lil' b for her 22nd birthday.
The aircraft was already mid-taxi when the flight attendant told him his fish would have to be left behind in Wellington and they headed back to the terminal.
The flight was delayed while the two-month-old fish was taken off the plane and Ayr figured out what to do with it.
Ayr told Fairfax a duty manager at Wellington Airport offered to take Lil' b home to his fish-tank, and he handed his little friend over.
Now Air New Zealand has come to the rescue, allowing the fish to fly to Auckland Airport in a plastic box container.
Ayr told Fairfax it was "a massive relief" to have his fish in Auckland and "going home to his new tank".
"It's been a roller coaster of emotions today," he added.
Air New Zealand said it didn't have a policy around transporting goldfish and confirmed it had carried the black moor goldfish on a flight from Wellington to Auckland this afternoon "to reunite it with its owner".
The Jetstar flight arrived in Auckland around 35 minutes late today.
A Jetstar spokesperson said earlier today that live animals are not to be carried on Jetstar flights, either domestically or internationally.