Dozens of travellers without luggage after arriving on Air New Zealand's renewed New York-Auckland direct flight

After 17 hours in the air, dozens of passengers on the first Air New Zealand flight from New York to Auckland had a rude surprise when they found out their luggage hadn't arrived. 

Flight NZ1 left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport at 11:20pm on Saturday (US time) and arrived at 8:32am on Monday morning (NZ time). 

One person told Newshub the experience on the flight was "perfect" but around 40 to 50 people were affected with their bags left in New York. 

"We have nothing to wear, nobody is helping us, [we are] just doing administration on documents and we are a bit lost," passenger Lucía Teva, who is missing four bags said. 

"We want our stuff, we want our clothes." 

Teva told Newshub they aren't sure how long it will take for them to be reunited with their luggage. 

"I want to cry. This was our first time doing an international trip because we are from Europe and we were always travelling in Europe and it was fine and now the experience is really bad for us," Teva told Newshub.    

Teva said Air New Zealand has told them to "wait" while they try to get them reunited with their luggage. 

"Now we don't have clothes, we have to go to our houses here, we don't have a local number, we don't have a bank account here, we have nobody helping us or waiting for us or asking if it's fine."

Another person on the flight from New York whose luggage has also gone missing said they've been told their bags will arrive on Tuesday. 

"We've been told they are going to arrive tomorrow morning, I think we have to take that at face value. It's pleasing they at least know where they are I guess because there is a lot of them [bags] have gone missing," the passenger told Newshub

"I think the problem lies at the JFK end, it was not the best check-in experience and overall teething issues have probably contributed to that, so it's a bit disappointing. 

"The flight itself was great, can't fault the Air New Zealand team, it's just one of those unfortunate things." 

Air New Zealand's chief operating officer Alex Marren said some bags were left behind in New York.

"Unfortunately, given additional fuel requirements due to adverse weather, some customer bags were unable to be loaded in New York and we are getting them to New Zealand as soon as possible," Marren said.

"We are in touch with customers to update them and reunite them with their bags. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused."