Air New Zealand CEO Diverts Flight So It Can Pick Him Up, Then Serves Drinks

Air New Zealand’s CEO Greg Foran may have violated his flight attendant union contract scope clause by taking over cabin crew duties to serve drinks to passengers on a flight from Auckland to Tokyo. (I kid, I kid.)

He was trying to make up for having the flight diverted – to pick him up, along with a New Zealand trade delegation of 30 business leaders, government officials, and media.

The group had been enroute to Tokyo on a New Zealand military 757 which requires a refueling stop enroute. While on the ground in Papua New Guinea, the aircraft “blew two fuses” that restricted flying to low altitudes.

The country’s Prime Minister caught a commercial flight to Hong Kong, connecting to Tokyo, while everyone else waited overnight. The next day the military 757 flew at low altitude about 1,300 miles from Port Moresby to Brisbane.

That’s where CEO Foran had New Zealand flight 99 from Auckland to Tokyo Narita divert to pick up his party. Once on board the Boeing 787, he announced an apology to passengers for their unexpected stop. He and the company’s board chair helped out with the drink cart. And they sat in economy. He offered,

It just happened to be that things worked out. It’s added about two hours on to people’s trip so they’ll get in a couple of hours later into Narita than they normally would, and we just happened to have enough seats on the plane.

His statement, however, did not offer compensation to the passengers on Air New Zealand flight 99.

(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good on the CEO & board chair! And sitting in economy too! Free drinks always cheer up the passengers!

  2. Hey, Gary, just curious — why do some posts get moderated and others not? My last was completely innocent, clean, and didn’t insult anyone or anything but was held for moderation.

    Just curious….

  3. @Thing 1 … Bad things are not moderated , eg rap lyrics , comedians , bad behaviour like looting . However , good people and good posts are suspect . Artificial Intelligence will make it all much worse . If you are moderated by AI , it means you are a good person . Congratulations .

  4. @Thing 1 … They would not have missed a connection , as they were going to Tokyo in the first place . But it might be funny if one of the pax decided , in Brisbane , they would rather go to New Guinea , instead of Tokyo .

  5. @alert. There could have been misconnections, not everyone going to Tokyo stays in Tokyo. Some might have had a connection to another domestic city in Japan. They were 2 hours late so if they had a 2 hour connection they would have missed it.

  6. the aircraft blew two fuses that restricted flying to low altitudes.

    Whoever wrote this knows nothing about modern jet aircraft. Blew fuses? WTH. Pressurization problem, sure. Fuses, no

  7. Compensation should have been offered if reasonably timed alternate accommodations were not made for those who had continuing flights. This is also for someone who had a vehicle reservation or a hotel reservation that was adversely impacted.

  8. Haha
    What a jackass
    Glad to know it’s not just American CEOs that have thier heads stuck so far up thier own a$$es they can’t comprehend thier horrible lack of judgment.

  9. “ the aircraft blew two fuses that restricted flying to low altitudes.

    Whoever wrote this knows nothing about modern jet aircraft. Blew fuses? WTH. Pressurization problem, sure. Fuses, no”

    You crack this ol crew dawg up. If a pilot wrote that shit up I might have lost it.

  10. The flight arrived to NRT less than two hours later than its typical arrival time which isn’t bad all things considered. The arrival isn’t really timed for ANA connections at NRT anyway.

  11. @Thing 1 – I am not always sure. Sometimes it is links in the comment (looks like spam). Sometimes it is certain words. I clear moderation queue as quickly as I can.

  12. One would never see an American CEO wait on passengers with meals and drinks. They have much bonus money they probably have their private jets. USELESS!

Comments are closed.