Not everyone loves the Air New Zealand safety videos. A passenger who was far too self-important to pay attention to the safety briefing or glance at the safety card was ejected from her Air New Zealand flight.
The passenger was traveling on NZ424 from Wellington to Auckland. She had occupied an exit row seat.
During the pre-flight safety video, her head was buried in a book. A flight attendant presented her with a safety card, which she refused. The FA asked, “Can you please watch what’s happening because this is the exit row?” But the woman responded by pulling out her mobile phone.
When the FA continued to ask the lady to pay attention, who was described as “rich looking” by other passengers due to her clothing and Louis Vuitton bag, she placed her fingers in her ears.
Other passengers began to plead with the woman to pay attention. She refused. The FA reported the incident to the captain, who opted to return to the gate. The woman was offloaded. On the way into the gate, she reportedly called JetStar in an effort to rebook herself.
Was She Trying To Make A Point?
Look, I’m guilty of reading a newspaper or texting during safety briefings all the time. Most FAs do not seem to care. But even though I can recite the United and Lufthansa safety videos mostly from memory, that would not excuse me from respecting crewmember wishes of setting down my reading material and appearing to pay attention when directly asked.
This passenger was given multiple chances to comply. By witness accounts, this does not appear to be a flight attendant “respect my authority” situation. I fail to understand why she didn’t just play along for two minutes.
I don’t see a point in deliberately refusing to follow reasonable flight attendant instructions unless you want to get thrown off a flight. Thus, I’m scratching my head at what happened onboard NZ424.
image: Umedha Hettigoda / Flickr (cropped)