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Air New Zealand

Kicked off a Flight for Ignoring the Safety Briefing

Kicked off a Flight for Ignoring the Safety Briefing
Jackie Reddy

A passenger was removed from an Air New Zealand flight to Wellington earlier this week after failing to observe the in-flight safety instructions. The incident occurred on Tuesday and involved a “wealthy-looking” couple seated in an exit row. One passenger was removed as a result of this incident.

A passenger was removed from an Auckland-bound Air New Zealand flight from Wellington earlier this week after they reportedly refused to observe the in-flight safety briefing, reports. The incident, which happened on Tuesday, is said to have involved a couple and have occurred on Air New Zealand Flight NZ424.

The pair, who have been described as “wealthy-looking,” was seated in the exit row of the aircraft. However, rather than pay attention to the obligatory safety instructions that came with their chosen seat assignments, the outlet reports that the couple opted to ignore repeated requests from crew that they observe the in-flight video and read the safety card.

A passenger who had been on the flight told the outlet, “The video started playing and the flight attendant held up the card, but the woman started looking down at her book.”

The woman then began to use her phone and the male passenger is reported to have continued to have used his during the safety briefing.

“A flight attendant said very patiently ‘Can you please watch what’s happening because this is the exit row’,” the eyewitness passenger said, adding, “The flight attendant was super kind and kept asking her, but the woman put her fingers in her ears.”

The flight was delayed by 25 minutes due to the pair’s non-compliance, with other passengers on the plane becoming increasingly annoyed by their behavior.

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

The plane returned to the gate and it appears that a single passenger was removed as a result of the incident. Speaking to The Guardian, a spokesperson for Air New Zealand said, “Police were waiting at the gate when the aircraft returned and the customer disembarked.”

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (15)


  1. secondsoprano

    May 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Well done Air NZ.

  2. N1120A

    May 8, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Absurd behavior by both the FA and the passengers. The FA was entirely too aggressive in demanding the passengers give into her demands to watch the lecture, while the passengers had no business acting like spoiled children in their response.

  3. IMissThe747

    May 8, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Well done Air NZ. Flying is a privilege not a right, and flying in the exit row is a privilege that comes with extra responsibilities. If a passenger can’t comply with a simple request to observe a safety briefing in a low-stress situation, they have no business sitting where they may be responsible for other passengers’ safety in a high-stress evacuation situation. Though evacuation incidents are infrequent, they do happen.

  4. Great_circle

    May 8, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Very well done. It’s an exit row and that alone requires the passengers to pay extra attention. Also, the article describes that the flight attendant was very polite.
    Moreover, keep in mind that flight attendants have seen people from all walks of life, have heard every exuse and know exactly what type of passenger they are dealing with.
    Seems to me like the type of passengers that might very well evacuate from a burning aircraft with all their carry-on luggage at the expense of other peoples lives.

  5. EBiafore99

    May 9, 2019 at 6:36 am

    I disagree the FA was too aggressive. The witness stated the FA was polite. The exit row is a privilege, not a right. The privilege comes with responsibility. Kudos to the FA and NZ.

  6. mvoight

    May 9, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Does NZ law or Air NZ policy require passengers to watch?

  7. AanneSFO

    May 9, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Safety first. Sitting in the exit row brings responsibility for the safety of other passengers. It isn’t just a chance to score extra legroom. An airplane cabin is not a movie theatre or living room.

    In an emergency, seconds count. Passengers next to the exit doors need to be at the top of their game. This would include boning up on emergency procedures. (In fact all passengers should be paying close attention, but that’s another issue.) The FAA requires the briefing for a reason.

    So it’s not about the pair’s entitlement to be left in peace instead of listening to some boring briefing that they may have heard before. It’s about taking safety seriously — if not their own, then that of others. The FA would have been remiss not to insist that the pair read the safety card and watch the video. It’s part of the deal.

  8. greytop13

    May 9, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Hurrah for the FA and Air NZ!

  9. drphun

    May 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Come on. Once the FA calls you out for not paying attention, why wouldn’t you at least act like you were paying attention for the next two whole minutes?

  10. Daniel Keller

    May 10, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of people on this forum fly on a regular basis. Many of us even book an exit seat whenever we can. Do you honestly believe it’s necessary for us to watch the same canned safety video every time we get on a plane? Is there a chance I’ve somehow forgotten how to fasten my seatbelt or what my responsibilities are when sitting in an exit row? While I agree the couple were rude, the FA’s insistence that they pay attention was over the top. It’s my responsibility to know the safety procedures. That does not obligate me to sit at rapt attention through a refresher course every time I get on a plane.

  11. simpleflyer

    May 11, 2019 at 5:35 am

    Daniel keller

    Were I sitting in the exit row you can bet I would watch if for no other reason than possibly nervous flyers are watching me. They will likely feel a lot better if they feel I am taking my position seriously

    When I watch a safety video, even if for the zillionth time, I remind myself of where alternate exits are. I put my head in the game. Two minutes I can spare. And if I can reassure the fa in any way by watching I am happy to do so.

    We all fly as a team, or we should.

  12. chavala

    May 11, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Do they still have that same safety video with that creepy transgender kid singing? I would put my fingers in my ears too if I ever have to see/hear that again

  13. scfw0x0f

    May 12, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Well done ANZ! And to those who say “we’ve seen it all before”–so what? Does it really kill you to pay attention for a minute to something that could literally save your life very shortly?

    The worst are the pax who not only ignore it, but chatter through it so that those who’d like to pay attention can’t.

  14. zitsky

    May 15, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Chavala, what’s creepy about a transgender kid?

  15. c502cid

    May 15, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I try to watch the safety video and/or presentation every time I fly out of courtesy. However, the pretend putting on the mask on the face, and even worse making puffing motions at the inflatable vest doesn’t do much for safety instruction. Do it right to help those who haven’t seen it before.

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