Air NZ on Gary McCormick ban: Safety of staff 'non-negotiable'

Gary McCormick spoke to Story this afternoon (Story)
Gary McCormick spoke to Story this afternoon (Story)

Air New Zealand says "there comes a point" where it will no longer accept passengers in response to an incident involving Gary McCormick at Christchurch Airport.

Radio host and Kiwi personality Gary McCormick has been banned from flying with the airline for two years after a disagreement with ground staff in the Christchurch Koru Club.

Air NZ said in a statement issued this evening it has "clear and well documented expectations of the conduct we expect from customers". 

"The wellbeing, safety and security of Air New Zealand staff and customers are paramount and non-negotiable. 

"In cases where customers breach our conditions of carriage, or behave in ways that our staff and other customers find intimidating, we follow a set of procedures to deal with the issue.  The outcome is often in the form of issuing a caution."

McCormick told Story that he "was apparently a banned citizen now".

He said the incident occured after flights to Wellington for his 65th birthday were continually delayed. He then told an Air NZ staff member he was going to have a drink in the Koru Lounge "at their expense".

He was subsequently escorted from the airport, then received correspondence implying he was not welcome back on the airline for two years.

"At first I thought it was a joke or spam. Nobody in this country bans someone for two years, unless you've seriously assaulted someone somewhere," he said.

Watch the video for the full interview.