Bali flights resume

Passengers wait at the international terminal at Ngurah Rai Airport on Bali (Reuters)
Passengers wait at the international terminal at Ngurah Rai Airport on Bali (Reuters)

Holidaymakers stranded in Bali might now have the chance to fly home - but for some it won't come cheap.

Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are resuming flights to and from the Indonesian holiday island today after a week of delays caused by volcanic ash from Mt Raung.

Jetstar is putting on extra flights between Bali and Australia to try and clear the backlog of passengers, as is Virgin Australia.

But for Christchurch holiday-goers Gary and Anne Roberts, the backlog means they will have to stay on in Bali for five extra days and pay nearly $4000 to book new flights.

The Roberts originally planned to return to New Zealand with Virgin Australia on July 13.

"We woke up yesterday morning and checked online and saw our flight was cancelled and that's where the nightmare began," said Mr Roberts.

The Roberts were left with two options; wait until the next available Virgin Australia flight on July 24 - 11 days past their booked departure date - or pay extra to swap airlines.

"Because Anne did her booking online and not through a travel agent we had to ring an Australian number using the phone in the hotel costing $3 a minute," he said.

Lengthy phone calls on a dodgy line meant they had missed out on any Virgin Australia flights leaving prior to July 24.

Gary Roberts said after three phone calls adding up to more than three hours and $300, they swapped airlines to Air New Zealand.

This cost another $3400 and meant they would now not be able to leave until July 18.

Both Gary and Anne have jobs in schools, meaning they needed to be back in New Zealand by the time the school returns from holidays on July 20.

"We'd seen all this happen to other people - some families have had to wait another week and a half.

"But we have had a fantastic stay and will still come back," he said.

Mr Roberts said they had full travel insurance.

Air New Zealand has a flight to Bali scheduled to leave Auckland at 10am, while the return flight - which was meant to leave Bali on Sunday - is expected to take-off at 4.30pm (local time), depending on the conditions.

"We apologise for the inconvenience, however, we're unable to operate when ash conditions are outside Air New Zealand's safety," the airline said on its website.

Air travel to Bali has been disrupted for days now, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and tourists uncertain about their holidays.

Mt Raung erupted on July 2, emitting plumes of ash that can choke jet engines. The volcano is about 150km west of Denpasar airport, the main airport for those heading to Bali.

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