The Government has confirmed thousands of New Zealanders stranded in cities abroad will not be able to make it home as airlines collapse over the world.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out widespread mercy flights, telling Kiwis stuck overseas to settle in for the long haul.
“Wherever you are, set yourselves up for the time being because it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to bring you home,” shared Ms Ardern.
Amongst the many travellers at the Santiago Airport in Chile are 11 Kiwis returning from Antarctica and they aren’t alone.
New Zealanders have been left stranded or in transit across the globe from Peru, Ireland and even a cruise ship off the coast of Florida.
Being told they may be left overseas for up to six months, they say things are changing very quickly.
For Phil Boorman, his family ski trip to Italy may become one of the many getaways that could become a long term stranding.
Despite spending over $10,000 on tickets, their flights were cancelled at the last minute.
“We live our days, at the moment, on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, “ said Mr Boorman.
While full-time travellers like Ella Saxby in Germany, the thought of being trapped is a terrifying prospect.
“Definitely didn’t plan to be anywhere longer than a couple of days, a week or so,” she said.
Tonight the 19-year-old is holding up in an Airbnb left hoping desperately that her flight makes it out.