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Air New Zealand flight ignoring the safety briefing

A woman and her partner were removed from an Air New Zealand flight for ignoring the safety briefing, instead choosing to play on their phones. Courtesy: Getty

A man and woman have been kicked off an Air New Zealand flight and fined for refusing to listen to the safety briefing.

According to Air New Zealand, the plane was forced to return to the gate at Wellington yesterday and the woman was removed from the flight for delaying its departure to Auckland.

Fellow passengers said the woman, who was seated in an exit row, was looking down reading a magazine and playing on her phone when the safety briefing began.

They said the flight attendant closest to the woman said: “Can you please watch what is happening because this is the exit row”.

According to witnesses, the woman, who was described as “wealthy looking” and “high maintenance” with a Louis Vuitton handbag, put her fingers in her ears to indicate she had no intention of listening.

“They didn’t seem to care,” a passenger told Stuff NZ.

“The passengers behind them were saying ‘For god’s sake, it takes two minutes to look at the card, just look at it,’ they seemed like they were too important for it.”

As fellow passengers became more agitated, the man and woman continued to ignore the requests of the flight staff.

After 25 minutes, the plane then returned to the gate where police were waiting and the man and woman were placed under arrest.

“You’d think they would have been embarrassed or mortified, but they seemed quite chuffed by the whole thing,” another passenger said.

While there is no specific rules forcing passengers to listen to safety instructions, New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority states that airlines have the right to refuse to carry passengers who are considered a potential risk to the safety of the aircraft, its crew or fellow passengers.

The flight left without the couple and the woman received an infringement notice for using her mobile phone.