NZ pilot strips naked at airport security check after argument

Photo courtesy of NZ Herald

Every frequent flyer knows the drill: the seemingly endless choreography of removing liquids, laptops, belts, and shoes at airport security, but one senior pilot for Air New Zealand decided to go one step further and strip naked at Queenstown International Airport (ZQN).

Neil Abbott, described by his colleagues as a “bit of a character,” was set to fly to Auckland Airport (AKL) when he found himself entangled in a heated argument with airport security during the routine screening process. Trouble started brewing when the seasoned pilot was asked to remove his boots, sending him into a fit of frustration.

In a moment that left onlookers in shock, Abbott took the term stripped down to a whole new level. Witnesses reported the pilot shedding his clothes in public view, defying the norms of airport decorum. The bizarre incident prompted aviation security to call in the police, who swiftly moved in to defuse the situation.

Following the peculiar episode, Air New Zealand’s Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer, Captain David Morgan, issued a statement acknowledging the disruption. Morgan confirmed a delay of one hour 39 minutes due to a change of crew being required. While he didn’t explicitly mention Abbott, he emphasised that the airline’s pilots undergo rigorous medical and psychological evaluations to ensure their fitness for duty, reported Aerotime Hub.

A local New Zealand media outlet shed light on simmering tensions between pilots and airport security during the Covid-19 era. Complaints had reportedly surfaced, citing double standards and deficiencies in the security process, leading to heightened scrutiny on pilots. The incident involving Abbott underscored the need for a delicate balance between security measures and maintaining the mental well-being of airline personnel.

In related news, in a stomach-churning revelation, a New Zealand couple successfully secured a refund from Qantas Airways, alleging they unwittingly spent a 10-hour flight submerged in a fellow passenger’s urine.

Aviation NewsThailand NewsWorld News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles