There’s no question that some in-flight safety videos are better than others (here’s a good one from Turkish Airlines). But no matter what you think of the video playing on your flight, or the safety briefing you’re given if you’re seated in an exit row, if a flight attendant asks you to listen up, you better do what you’re asked. Per The Guardian, a stubborn Air New Zealand passenger learned this lesson the hard way last week:
“A woman who refused to watch the regulation air safety video or read the safety instructions card handed to her by flight attendants [was] 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.”
The passenger reportedly ignored repeated and direct requests from the flight attendants to confirm she understood her responsibilities in the exit row, as did her male companion. “With the couple’s behaviour beginning to delay the plane,” writes The Guardian, “other passengers implored them to pay attention but they reportedly continued to refuse…The pilot was eventually forced to return to the gate, Air New Zealand said, because a passenger ‘failed to comply with crew instructions.'”
The first lesson here is to be respectful of the flight crew (and other passengers), as the passenger in this story was not. But you should also remember that airline and aviation body (like FAA) rules are taken seriously. Your failure to listen to the rules could get you kicked off your flight or worse. The flight crew is not always right—it was wrong in this unrelated story—but when the ask is simple and understandable, don’t invite trouble. Just follow the rules.
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