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Airline CEO Jumps On a Drinks Cart to Apologise For Having a Plane Divert to Pick Him Up

Airline CEO Jumps On a Drinks Cart to Apologise For Having a Plane Divert to Pick Him Up

a group of people in an airplane

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran jumped on a drinks cart and served drinks to passengers on an international flight that he had arranged to be diverted to pick him up, along with 30 other business people and government representatives.

Foran had been travelling from Auckland to Tokyo for a trade summit and was flying with the rest of the delegation aboard an official government jet that made what was meant to be a brief stop in Papa New Guinea to refuel when it suffered a mechanical issue.

The aircraft had suffered two blown fuses, meaning it couldn’t fly at high altitude all the way to Tokyo, so most of the delegation was initially stranded in Papa New Guinea while the Prime Minister managed to make a quick exit on two commercial flights via Hong Kong.

The government jet was eventually cleared to fly at a low altitude to Brisbane, where Foran arranged a regularly scheduled Air New Zealand service from Auckland to Tokyo to make an impromptu stopover to pick him and the rest of the delegation up.

Once onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Foran took to the public address system to apologise to the passengers for having their plane diverted, and when it was back up in the air and on the way to Tokyo, Foran and airline chairperson Dame Therese Walsh jumped on a drinks cart to help serve everyone onboard.

Luckily, it just so happened that Monday’s regularly scheduled flight to Tokyo had enough spare seats for the entire delegation, although Foran and Walsh had to sit in Economy Class seats at the back of the plane.

According to Flight Radar 24, Air New Zealand flight NZ99 to Tokyo Narita arrived just over two hours later than planned despite the unscheduled stopover in Brisbane.

View Comments (11)
  • Love this, perfect demonstration of leadership in the moment – sh*t happens, own it and embrace it and reasonable people are reasonable about it… Well played Foran and Dame Therese Walsh

  • When we had the floods at Auckland Airport Foran was there at ,6 45am helping people check in. A good leader leads from the front and isn’t afraid to muck in when needed.

  • I don’t want to be the wet blanket, but since this is the internet and everyone else is going to be so positive I’ll add my thought:

    Maybe he did this as well and it’s not mentioned but a voucher for future travel seems a lot better than… Giving the flight attendants a break from something they would normally do anyway (and probably better). It’s a nice enough gesture, but it’s not as though the drink cart was only allowed to come out because the CEO was there.

    That said, I do like a CEO who puts themself in front of their customers.

  • Commendable act – if the passengers were amenable enough. But how did the passengers really react?
    Isn’t Tokyo a business destination or a connection hub? How did passengers deal with their delayed business appointments or missed connections? Evidently, the airline had to compensate them.

  • No no no. A two hour delay to cater to the CEO is not something that is justified. ANZ should have sent a plane themselves. What about all the people whose vacations, business meetings, connections are missed or messed up to make life easier for the CEO? Not impressed with ‘one-of-people’ act by this guy that makes sick amounts of money. His pouring drinks should be the least he does. It is meaningless. Unbelievable that folks are so beaten down they think this is admirable. He isn’t admirable. He already showed he believes he is more important that his passengers and their needs.

  • We would have to because if you say good morning wrong the flight attendant has the ability to have you arrested on landing or even have the plane diverted as he/she felt “threatened.” A federal violation.

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