Horror flight: Plane bound for Dunedin forced to turn back to Wellington

A passenger on a flight bound for Dunedin says people were screaming and crying after the plane couldn’t land and was forced to turn back to Wellington.

Amanda Doile boarded the Air New Zealand flight just before 9am today with plans to finish her university holidays down south on a ski trip.

It ended up being the worst flight she has ever been on due to bad weather in Dunedin.

The plane ran into trouble as it attempted to touch down, Doile said.

“The wind just picked up like super crazy. The pilot tried to land the plane but we had massive turbulence.”

Doile said passengers were lifted out of their seats several times and “thrown around” the plane.

“I was a wee bit nervous, grasping onto the armchairs every now and then and I had sweaty hands.

“Everything was up in the air in the plane, it was pretty crazy. My stomach still feels like it’s up there a little bit.”

She said people were crying and she heard a few screams.

“There were a couple of babies on board too, but they actually, I think, did better than some of the adults on the plane.”

Doile said the pilot abandoned the landing and informed passengers it was too dangerous so they would have to head back to Wellington.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson confirmed the flight was unable to land due to strong wind.

Three other of the airline’s services in and out of Dunedin have also been cancelled today due to weather.

“Due to limited capacity on flights into Dunedin today, customers on impacted services were given the option to opt in to credit, or defer their flight to tomorrow,” the spokesperson said this afternoon.

Doile said the airline looked after all the passengers on board well, and alternative flights were arranged swiftly.

She said she’s scheduled to fly back to Dunedin in a bigger plane this afternoon.

But Doile overheard a couple deciding to cancel their holiday rather than trying to land again.

She said others decided to rebook their flights in a couple of days time once the weather has settled.

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