Gary McCormick may be a true Kiwi, but he's also a brat

Gary McCormick  during Festival of the Elements.
Peter McDonald

Gary McCormick during Festival of the Elements.

OPINION: Well, cry me a river of chardonnay. I can only imagine that's what Gary McCormick was drinking when he was kicked out of Christchurch Airport's Koru Lounge.

What happened when the police approached him, I wonder? Did he neck it back? Did he grip his glass in one hand and the bar leaner with the other, protesting his removal with a howl and a shake of the head, toddler-styles?

Gary. You know the country almost better than we know ourselves, travelling the length and breadth of it for your Heartland series. Just last month you jokingly told the Balclutha Rotary Club what you'd do if you became Prime Minister. You bought us Chloe from Wainuiomata, that wee tiger slipper-clad gem.

Gary McCormick shares a laugh with Simon Barnett on his radio show.

Gary McCormick shares a laugh with Simon Barnett on his radio show.

Now, if the ban from Air New Zealand holds, you won't be flying anywhere on our national carrier for two years. Because it turns out, Gary, you can't be the quintessentially Kiwi bloke and also be a brat.

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To be fair, it's not entirely clear what happened to prompt Air New Zealand to ban McCormick from flying. On Tuesday, he  said he had complained to airline staff after a 40 minute tarmac wait at Christchurch Airport. Passengers were then told they would have to board another flight, which was then cancelled.

That's when Gary threw his toys. "I walked into the Koru Lounge, to which I am not a member, and helped myself to a glass of wine," he said. "Soon enough, [Air NZ] contacted their secret cell and some policeman [approached me] and said that [Air NZ] can do me for trespassing."

In a statement, the airline said they had followed procedures, adding: "In cases where there are behavioural issues over a long period of time and/or are serious enough for the Police to be involved, there comes a point where Air NZ is no longer willing to accepted some customers for carriage on our services."

There are two possible scenarios here. One, Air New Zealand massively overreacted by slapping a ban on McCormick for barging into the Koru Lounge and helping himself to a glass of vino. 

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Two, McCormick is not telling us the whole story.

I'll leave you to consider which one is more likely. In the meantime though, here's a conclusion that's fairly irrefutable: Gary, you acted like a dick.

If I stormed into the Koru Lounge and started slamming back tequilas every time my flight was delayed or cancelled, I'd be  drunk a lot. Normal people get a bit pissed off, grumble to their travel companions, and maybe head to the airport bar for a drink. They do not appear to take Air New Zealand's travel delays personally, striding purposefully from the departure gate upstairs to the airline lounge and pouring themselves a spiteful drink.

What was he thinking as he walked in there? "I'll show them! Wasting my time. Well that's a glass of wine they'll NEVER get back!" Or, possibly: "Gaaaah! [rips open mental shirt] I'm so angry. Must get drunk immediately!"

Or, maybe: "Don't they know who I am?"

Oh, Gary. Gary, Gary. Not only are you now fighting the ban, you have even cast yourself in the role of hero. "Even if justice doesn't prevail, it will be served. I'm not just doing this for myself, it's for all New Zealanders," you said.

Not this one, mate. Get a bloody grip. 

 - Stuff


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