Tasman Makos player who prematurely activated his laptop on an Air New Zealand flight made a flippant remark to a flight attendant but was not abusive, says Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Andrew Flexman.
The Auckland to Nelson plane the rugby team travelled on was met by four police cars on Friday because of an onboard incident.
In response to an article about that, a flight attendant has posted online: "Where is the part about how he was abusive to the flight attendant?? Where is the part that he was arguing with her about how to do her job? We are not on that aircraft to serve the public. We are there to ensure passenger safety and that safety regulations set down by CAA are complied with. The Makos fly all the time. He should have known better."
Mr Flexman said today the player was not abusive.
The player had prematurely activated his laptop before passengers were officially instructed that they could, and had made a remark about in-flight wireless internet because he had recently read something about that, he said.
Mr Flexman said the head coach who was on the flight had checked with the flight attendant about whether there was anything he needed to attend to and was assured there wasn't.
"From what I understand the comment would never be construed as abusive," he said.
He said he was visited by a policeman yesterday who was embarrassed by the "over the top" reaction of four police cars meeting the plane at Nelson Airport.
He said it appeared it had been communicated from the plane that there had been unruly behaviour on the flight.
"How that escalated I don't know," said Mr Flexman.
He had spoken with the player and no disciplinary action would be taken.
"Given the police grossly over-the-top reaction, for us to go down that path would not be right."
Police communications manager Barbara Dunn said a passenger was spoken to by police about their obligations under the civil aviation regulations and no further action was required. Police had sent four police cars based on the limited information they had received in what turned out to be a "fairly minor matter".
An Air New Zealand spokesman today was looking into the issues.
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