Bali travellers weary after flight delays

Bali travellers weary after flight delays

Airlines are coming under fire for their handling of delays caused by the volcanic eruption near Bali.

Thousands of New Zealand and Australian holidaymakers remain stranded as ash from Mount Raung prevents flights in and out of Denpasar Airport.

Denpasar Airport has become a hotel for weary, delayed travellers. The floor, suitcases and even surfboards have become beds; clothing doubles as blankets.

"Our flights got cancelled," says traveller Kristen Sistov. "We got issued a voucher and said, 'Look for your own flight home. You are going to get a voucher in 15 working days.' So I said, 'Can I book a flight using that voucher?' They said, 'No, you can't use it for 15 working days. Use your card.'"

She managed to secure a flight on July 24 - that's next Friday.

She's on standby for others, but she's up against thousands of desperate travellers, many of them Kiwis, many of them out of money.

Today alone, the volcanic ash forced the cancellation of nearly 50 domestic and international flights. There are no flights out or in. Tourism is taking a hit during peak season.

3 News presenter Simon Shepherd landed in Bali last week. He's due to leave on Thursday, but he's not overly confident.

"On the beach you can see Denpasar Airport runway, and normally there are flights coming in, doing the slow approach over the water, one after the other, but yesterday on the beach, with the airport being closed, nothing," he says. "It was quite eerie really."

Air New Zealand hopes a flight to Bali will leave tomorrow morning and a flight from Bali to New Zealand is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning, but of course that's subject to favourable conditions.

3 News