Weather: Air New Zealand adding more flights, but some people won't be home for start of new school term

The school holidays are almost over, but flight disruptions mean some people won't make it home for the start of the new term.

Air New Zealand's putting on extra flights, but warns it could take days to clear a backlog of passengers left stranded by wild weather and crew shortages.

Soaking up the final few hours of school holidays in an airport terminal.

Airports around the country on Sunday were bustling with passengers waiting to get home - and waiting for cancellations.

"We've got kids that need to go back to school tomorrow so it's not ideal," one person told Newshub.

That's because wild weather this week has disrupted thousands of travel plans.

From the snow in the south closing roads to six-metre swells cancelling several ferry crossings on Thursday.

On Friday, Air New Zealand was faced with rebooking 120,000 passengers.

"Plane from Wellington got caught up so we couldn't fly from Brisbane to Christchurch on the 21st so ended up getting stuck on the Gold Coast for a couple of days," Invercargill resident Trevor Calvert said.

Some holiday budgets were blown.

"It's been a lot of extra money spent and a lot of time wasted as well," one person said.

"I had to rebook for today. It cost us $750 for the three of us … It is what it is, we're just hoping Air New Zealand will reimburse us," another said.

For others, it meant no holiday at all.

"Some of our family couldn't come on our trip… their flights couldn't land because of the bad weather," one person said.

In a statement an Air New Zealand spokesperson said it's still experiencing a perfect storm of high demand, sickness, and weather - and recovery could take several days.

The airline cancelled 20 flights on Sunday, but is putting on a 300-seat flight from Auckland to Christchurch on Monday, as well as extra flights out of Christchurch to Queenstown and Wellington.

The weather also has plans for Monday too - so far it's looking wet and wild.