Aviation

Passengers removed from Air New Zealand plane for ignoring safety instructions

Two passengers have reportedly been removed from an Air New Zealand flight for failing to listen to the aircraft safety report.

Stuff and The Guardian reported that two passengers, described as “wealthy looking”, forced Air New Zealand flight NZ424 leaving Wellington on Tuesday morning local time to return to its departure gate, after the pair were repeatedly asked by flight attendants on board to pay attention during the airline’s safety briefing.

The pair, a man and a woman described as “high maintenance”, who were sitting in the exit row of the plane, were reportedly removed because they were holding up the Air New Zealand flight’s departure to Auckland.

The pair reportedly refused to read the airline safety card.

One passenger said: “The video started playing and the flight attendant held up the card, but the woman started looking down at her book.”

The witness then said both the man and woman then picked up their phones and continued to look at their devices while the safety announcement occurred.

“A flight attendant said very patiently ‘Can you please watch what’s happening because this is the exit row’.

“The flight attendant was super kind and kept asking her, but the woman put her fingers in her ears.”

The delay caused by the pair reportedly cost the flight 25 minutes, agitating other passengers on board.

“They didn’t seem to care. The passengers behind them were saying ‘For God’s sake, it takes two minutes to look at it, just look at it’ … they seemed like they were too important for it.”

It was shockingly arrogant behaviour, the passenger said.

“You’d think they’d be embarrassed or mortified, but they seemed quite chuffed about the whole thing.”

The pilot was eventually forced to return to the gate, Air New Zealand told The Guardian, because a passenger “failed to comply with crew instructions”.

A police spokeswoman told Stuff that police were requested to meet one passenger at the airport on Tuesday morning local time.

When the pair were told that police were waiting for them, an airline passenger said that the woman pulled out her phone and loudly tried to make a booking with Jetstar.

“The passenger will receive an infringement notice under Civil Aviation Authority rules relating to the use of a cellphone,” the spokeswoman said.

Travel Weekly contacted Air New Zealand for comment.

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