New Zealanders stranded in UK turned away from return flights after contradicting information

The new and more contagious variant of COVID-19 has caused chaos and confusion for Kiwis in the UK who are trying to get home.

One Auckland woman was left stranded at Heathrow Airport because she says her airline gave her the wrong message.

Fiona Kerton and her mother Margaret were close despite living on opposite sides of the world. So when she found out in September her mother had only weeks to live she jumped on the first flight out of Auckland to the UK.

"Because I've got a nursing background we were able to keep her at home," Fiona says.

"She had the most beautiful death she could have had because I was able to be here and that was really really important so yeah, I had to come."

Fiona buried her mum in the UK and then made arrangements to come home. But when she went to board her flight she was stopped and left stranded in the UK - a country where cases of a new more infectious variant of COVID-19 are rising.

And Singapore Airlines has reacted by insisting on pre-flight testing. The only problem is no one from the airline told her - in fact, they said the opposite.

"They said 'no you don't need a test as far as we are concerned' but told me to check with the embassy so I did that and they said 'no you don't need to'. Rocked up to the airport and [they] said 'where's your COVID test'," Fiona says.

She wasn't alone. Ten other parties booked on the same flight were also turned away at check-in.

They all lost their slots in managed isolation back in New Zealand.

In a statement, Singapore Airlines says it's made its 'best endeavours' to communicate the new requirements with customers but has apologised for any inconvenience.

Fiona's husband Bill is still trying to sort the mess from here.

"It's a global pandemic, I'm not expecting everything to work perfectly but in this case its definitely not working perfectly and one hand isn't talking to the other," he says.

"We really want to get home. It's time for us to come home. Please just let us get home," Fiona says.

And Fiona's last resort? She's asking the New Zealand High Commission in London to intervene.