Air New Zealand slammed over cost of flights to Christchurch

Air New Zealand has been slammed online for the prices of flights to Christchurch in the aftermath of the terror attack on two mosques.

A customer who was trying to book flights to the city tweeted the prices he was being quoted were "ridiculous."

"People are literally trying to fly in to #Christchurch to be loved ones and for funerals happens in the next day or so. Pretty pathetic to be prioritising profit in current circumstances," Guled Mire Tweeted on Saturday.

Air New Zealand responded to the tweet, citing increased demand had put the prices up.

"We're saddened by the tragic events that have occurred and are trying to help those with travel over the weekend and those that are directly affected. Although we've been putting on additional capacity we have very little availability which is why the fares have increased."

The response set off a tirade of comments condemning Air New Zealand's pricing policy, forcing Air New Zealand into a U-turn and reduce the fares.

"Due to the increasing customer demand for travel to Christchurch in the coming days we will be reducing fare levels and increasing capacity," the company said in a tweet.

Grant Robertson the Minister of Finance even weighed in Tweeting he had made contact with Air New Zealand and saying they should offer compassionate fares. 

Air fares between Auckland and Christchurch are now selling for around $100

Mire said he was happy Air New Zealand had backtracked and praised the power of social media.

In a statement released on Sunday Air New Zealand said it had “capped one-way domestic fares for flights directly to and from Christchurch at $139 to assist customers needing to travel there to support those affected by the shooting tragedy.”

They had also allocated close to 100 compassionate fares for affected family and friends.