When a woman’s wild laughter rang out loudly during a safety briefing on an Air New Zealand domestic flight, cabin crew and passengers suspected that all was not right.Their suspicions proved correct and things got worse. Crew quickly confirmed that the woman who found the safety demo hilarious was very drunk.
Flight NZ5203 from Auckland to Napier was delayed when cabin crew asked the same woman, Demelza Matenga, to place her carry-on bag in the overhead locker or under the seat, in the usual manner, a New Zealand court heard.
Matenga, 26, would have none of it, the Waikato Times reported. She argued and refused to stow her bag correctly or to calm down, police said.
The pilot eventually turned the plane round on the tarmac before take-off and returned to the terminal, where police removed Matenga from the aircraft.
Matenga was not done. She made obscene gestures at the other passengers, who were looking at her through the plane’s windows. She then began spitting, swearing and screaming abuse.
Matenga’s lawyer told court her client had been returning from a concert and had been drinking.
Matenga pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour and assaulting police. She was sentenced to 80 hours of community work.
Written by Peter Needham