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Air New Zealand in London, England - Horrible Flight Attendants

Let me start by saying we have flown air new Zealand 4 times in the past 2 years, usually with 2 business and 6-8 Premium Economy seats at a time since we are a large family. On this trip my husband and I settled into business and asked our stewardess if it was OK to have our baby (just 3 years old) come sleep with me once the meal service was over, which we did on the way to and from Australia last Christmas. She was in the back with her older siblings where purchased 2 sky couches for them this time. She said absolutely no problem. A few minutes later Samuel Allen the flight service manager came by and was extremely rude and said she was absolutely NOT allowed to sleep with me. I said we have done it before, but OK no problem. After dinner I got up and switched seats with my 13-year-old daughter and spent the next 7 hours on the sky couch (which is great). When it was breakfast time I got up and took my 3 year old up front with me to have breakfast on the companion ottoman seat, which I have done each and every time I have flown Air New Zealand. My husband usually has one of our other children come up and eat with him as well. My 13 year old went back to her seat. As we were waiting for breakfast (which by the way we share, not request 2) another flight attendant came up and literally yelled at me that I was told the baby could NOT be up front and to move her immediately. I tried to explain that she was simply having a quick breakfast and then going back with her sister for landing. She said she didn't care, it wasn't allowed and to move. She was very rude. I got up and moved back to economy and told my 13 year old to go enjoy my breakfast and I'd see her after the flight. Approx. 10 minutes later my daughter returned in tears and said that an attendant named Hillary was yelling at her and refused to let her go to my seat. At this time Samuel came over and I asked him why, he said he was sick of us moving back and forth. I said we only moved because I was kicked out of my seat, and that she had nowhere to sit except my seat. He said fine and walked away. Kelsi went back up front and Hillary met her again and proceeded to refuse her entry to the business section. Kelsi said she would go back and tell me, and Hillary told her no to stand right there (in the small galley) Kelsi explained to her she had no seat in the back and needed to go talk to her father and sit in my seat. Hillary refused. Kelsi returned to me after approx. 20 minutes crying and said mom she's refusing to let me go to dad. At this point a Stewardess named Susan came up and asked what was wrong, after explaining the situation to her she took my daughter by the arm and said come with me. She walked her up front where Hillary met them both and Susan said that she was escorting Kelsi to her father and to let her through. A few minutes later Samuel came up to me and started yelling at me and said that I had no respect for him and that this was “his plane”, I explained that we always had been allowed to have one child sit on the companion seat for breakfast and that I in fact moved to the back of the plane and didn't leave for over 7 hours without saying a word. About 10 minutes before landing a flight attendant came up and literally hit me on the arm (I was watching a move with my 3 year old and didn't see her at first) I jumped and looked at her, and she said in a very loud voice "What is your problem here" I said what are you talking about? She said again what is your problem. At this point I looked at her nametag and said Oh, you're Hillary. My problem is you detained my 13-year-old daughter for over 20 minutes refusing to allow her to see her father and that was very inappropriate. Hillary said she had no right to switch seats with you. I requested her full name and she said she I don't have to tell you anything and walked away. I do have pictures of Hillary and Samuel Allen if needed. My husband and I have never been treated so disrespectfully in all of our travels. In addition to the verbal abuse Hillary was physically threatening, and held a 13-year-old girl against her will, refusing her access to her parents for over 20 minutes!!! Please understand that my 13 year old daughter is also a type 1 diabetic who is insulin dependent, I had left her supply bag on my seat for her so she had no supplies, meter, insulin and when she tested herself after all the emotional drama which causes her blood sugar to skyrocket it was in excess of 400 (I have the records).
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I'm sorry for being disrespectful, but you should've either all sat in business or economy.

The thing that bothers me the most in business class, is people - like yourself - sneaking their kids into business "just for breakfast", and having the kids run around creating chaos while other folks, who paid TOP cash for this class of travel - try to get some sleep or a quiet meal.

Obviously, the flight attendants were very rude, but your family lack of respect for your fellow business travellers - was even ruder, thus I cannot have any sympathy or empathy for the attandants' behaviour to you and your family. Sorry. Just keeping it real.


Staff I work with have had similar experiences with Air New Zealand flight crew and flight managers who seem to be more like extremely rude flight *** with huge egos and every bad tempers.

I manage a corporate team and set travel budgets and policies for our business. I moved my firms travel to another airline after numerous staff said they had received some shocking treatment by Air New Zealand flight crew and in particular for some reason flight managers during long haul flights.

Note this happened not once, or twice but many times this year.

If their experiences were just a one-off with a crew member having a bad day I'd understand, but sadly based on my staff's feedback I think some of their crew are power tripping and probably hate their jobs (they should do us and Air NZ a favour and find employment elsewhere).

There are better airlines out there so give this shocking airline a big miss, you'll be glad you did it. If enough people vote with their wallets things will soon improve


This sounds like a nightmare, especially for the other passengers, who were subjected to the ring a round the rosy bit going on with your family, the crying, the constant walking by. Ughhhh.

Why didn't you just have your family seated all together to begin with? You should have especially had the three year "baby" seated with you! There must be very specific rules in place regarding your whole situation, which should have been followed all flight attendants and explained firmly but politely to you. They should have explained the rules on a plane are first and foremost for passenger safety.

I would venture the reason children cannot be out of their seats and in other parts of the aircraft is because they are not properly seated and belted, if there was an emergency. You should find out the airline's rules and have a copy in hand when you travel in the future.

But again, I also hope you consider having the 3 year seated next to you and your husband seated with the diabetic child, next time. That is common sense, right?


I think you are ignoring the fact that this passenger and her children was on the receiving end of some pretty dire treatment from the flight manager. The rights and wrongs of this persons booking decision aside, the situation could have been handled significantly better by the airline.

The behaviour of Air New Zealand's staff in this situation is unacceptable. if comments (yours aside - you are an airnz employee right?

lemme guess part of their marketing/PR team?) to this are to be believed this is not an isolated incident. Something is very wrong at this airline and it needs to be fixed openly and transparently.

@not airnz pr

You seem to be missing the fact that there are always two sides to a story. I'm not implying this person is lying, but I'm always skeptical when people claim someone was "yelling" at them.

Or that one of their teenage children "came back in tears" as that immediately sets off my hyperbole *** detector. I think it would be fair to take her story with a grain of salt.


Thank goodness someone else has had problems with this shocking airline's flight managers. They seem to have big egos and be very aggressive.

I had a very similar issue with a flight manager who was incredibly aggressive and rude to both me and my wife.

I was in business premier and my wife was in premium economy. her upgrade had been turned down despite the fact that the seat next to me in the business cabin was empty. I'd gotten up to go to the loo just before *** and said hi to my wife before heading to the loo (people had only just finished boarding) and got told that I should sit down.

I explained I needed to go to the loo so the flight attendent kindly unlocked the loo.

Later after dinner I got up to sit next to my wife. There was some pretty minor turbulence and I probably should have stayed seated. Upon walking back to my seat The flight manager came over and started yelling at me telling me that "if I want to sit up there (by my wife) I should just say there". This was in front of the entire business premier cabin and in full view of my wife.

I apologised for getting up during turbulence (I should have known better) and looked at his name tag as I wasnt sure who he was.

Returning to my seat He then came over and balled me out for daring to have a look at his name tag saying he'd give me his card. He was practically yelling at me. I was dumb-struck. I was also in the wrong so I just sat there feeling totally shocked and said I'd like a copy of his card.

The flight concluded with this flight manager giving me his card.

My wife had been in tears during one stage of this flight. We'd spent over $14,000 with Air NZ and on code shares booked with Air NZ on this trip. Over the years we've spent a lot more.

sadly this will be the last I spend with Air NZ. I am also emailing a more detailed version of this to Air NZ as a written complaint, although from what I have heard it'll be about as effective as a *** in a huricane.

Dont fly long haul with these guys. Their planes are great but some of their crew obviously hate their jobs and need to be sacked.

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#518651 Review #518651 is a subjective opinion of poster.
  • Flight attendant Hillary
  • Samuel Allen
  • Flight service manager

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