A passenger of the Air New Zealand flight was reportedly removed from a flight in Wellington to Auckland Tuesday for refusing to watch the mandatory air safety video or read the safety instruction card. The woman, who was seated in an exit row, refused to pay heed to the flight attendant’s requests to listen to the safety instructions, The Guardian reported.
One of the witnesses said that the ‘wealthy-looking’ woman picked up her phone as the safety video started playing and even after she was shown the safety card, she continued to look down at her book.
“The video started playing and the flight attendant held up the card, but the woman started looking down at her book,” another passenger was quoted in a Stuff.co.nz report.
The witness added that the attendant was very patient and kept asking the woman to pay attention to the video, but the passenger ignored her requests by putting her fingers in her ears.
“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 eyewitness said.
The woman was accompanied by a male companion who also refused to pay attention to the video, and stared at his device instead. Due to the couple’s odd behaviour, the plane departure was being delayed. Other passengers also requested the duo to pay attention, but they continued to refuse.
The pilot eventually returned to the gate citing the passenger’s non-compliance with crew instructions. A spokesperson for the airlines said that the police were waiting at the gate and the customer disembarked.
The passenger will receive an infringement notice under Civil Aviation Authority rules relating to the use of a cellphone, the airline’s spokesperson told Stuff.co.nz.