A COUPLE were left stunned after their flight was cancelled – only to be the only passengers on their replacement flight.

Anaru Ratapu and his wife had booked Air New Zealand flights after travelling to New Plymouth for a conference.


However, their returning flight to Napier via Auckland ended up being cancelled after a bird strike.

After fearing they would be stranded with no other flights for days, they were told that crew would be on a repositioning flight – which is when crew need to fly back to a base.

Staff then managed to get them on that flight – meaning they were the only commercial passengers on it.

Anaru said: "We jumped on there – we were the only passengers on the flight.

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“We felt like VIPs.”

He said that they still conducted the safety briefing for them, as well as gave them lollies, biscuits and hot drinks.

And despite leaving later than planned, they arrived home just one hour later as it was a direct flight – which isn't offered commercially and usually requires a stopover.

Anaru praised staff, adding it was a "cool experience” to have tried.

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An Air New Zealand spokesperson said they were “thrilled," adding: “We’re also incredibly proud of our team, who are always looking to go above and beyond for our customers every day.”

It's not the first thing this has happened to passengers.

A woman was left stunned after realising she was the only passenger on her flight and even ended up flying in the cockpit for most of the journey.

Aurora Torres was travelling from Røros, in Norway with airline Widerøe to take pictures for a wedding, only to realise she was the only person on the 50-minute flight, apart from the crew.

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Traveller Kai Forsyth was also the sole passenger on an eight-hour flight from the UK to the US where he was given all the free food he wanted and managed to make a bed on the empty seats.

And in 2019, Vincent Peone was travelling with Delta to Salt Lake City when he found out he was the only guest on board, and was allowed to meet the pilots.

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