Gary McCormick's history of conflict with Air New Zealand

Gary McCormick's got some history with Air New Zealand.
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Gary McCormick's got some history with Air New Zealand.

The Koru Lounge incident which saw Gary McCormick cop a two-year ban from Air New Zealand flights was not his first spat with the airline.

On his More FM breakfast show with Simon Barnett, McCormick revealed he'd been involved in another incident in 2011 with the airline in which police had been forced to intervene.

McCormick was banned from flying with Air New Zealand for two years after he helped himself to a glass of wine in the Christchurch Airport Koru Lounge, despite not being a Koru Club member.

Gary McCormick has had run-ins with Air New Zealand before.
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ

Gary McCormick has had run-ins with Air New Zealand before.

The incident was a hot topic on McCormick's radio show on Wednesday, where mentioned he'd been involved in a similar incident involving Air New Zealand and police in 2011.

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On air, McCormick reaffirmed he was looking to fight the ban in court. "I've lawyered up, I've got the best," he said. "New Zealanders want to see justice done."

Gary McCormick's co-host Simon Barnett wasn't taking his side in the Air New Zealand spat.
JANE WYLES/FAIRFAX NZ

Gary McCormick's co-host Simon Barnett wasn't taking his side in the Air New Zealand spat.

McCormick said he'd entered the Koru Lounge after a flight he was on with his wife was cancelled. Although he had been told he would be put on the next flight, he found he'd been pushed back several flights.

In protest, he walked into the lounge and helped himself to a "cheeky chardonnay". Lounge staff called police, who escorted him off the premises. "They're very good like that, it's a service they offer to the public," McCormick joked. 

"I'm glad I didn't lay a hand on an Air New Zealand staff member, I'd probably get ten years inside."

Listeners were invited to contact the station with their views on the incident, and seemed split on whether McCormick has been in the wrong. However, his co-host and good mate Simon Barnett - incidentally, a Koru Club member - was on Air New Zealand's side.

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On Tuesday, Air New Zealand implied it had had issues with McCormick in the past.

"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 New Zealand is no longer willing to accept some customers for carriage on our services," an Air New Zealand spokesperson said.

McCormick had another spat with New Zealand aviation 1991. He refused to pay a $5 departure levy introduced at Palmerston North Airport in protest, delaying a flight, and attracted media crews to the airport where he declared the tax unfair. He also contemplated action through the Commerce Commission and prepared a defence should the airport company lay charges against him.

 

 - Stuff

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