Passenger thrown off Air New Zealand plane for refusing to read safety instructions card
Police called after flight delayed following refusal of woman to watch safety video and read card in exit row seat
A woman who refused to watch the regulation air safety video or read the safety instructions card handed to her by flight attendants has reportedly been removed from an Air New Zealand flight in Wellington.
The woman, described by other passengers as “wealthy-looking”, was sitting in the exit row but ignored attendants’ attempts to get her to listen to the safety instructions for flight NZ424 to Auckland on Tuesday.
One passenger told Stuff.co.nz: “The video started playing and the flight attendant held up the card, but the woman started looking down at her book.”
The witness said the woman, who was holding a Louis Vuitton bag, then picked up her phone while her male companion also continued to look at his device.
“A flight attendant said very patiently ‘Can you please watch what’s happening because this is the exit row?’,” the witness said. “The flight attendant was super kind and kept asking her, but the woman put her fingers in her ears.”
With the couple’s behaviour beginning to delay the plane, other passengers implored them to pay attention but they reportedly continued to refuse.
“They didn’t seem to care,” the witness said.
The pilot was eventually forced to return to the gate, Air New Zealand said, because a passenger “failed to comply with crew instructions”.
“Police were waiting at the gate when the aircraft returned and the customer disembarked,” said a spokesperson for the airline.