19 Jan 2016

Air NZ passengers shaken by turbulence

2:18 pm on 19 January 2016

Passengers on an Air New Zealand flight from Tokyo to Auckland at the weekend have described their terror when the plane suddenly dropped and shook violently due to severe turbulence, splattering wine on the ceiling and food on the floor.

Many people's dinner ended up on the floor when the plane dropped suddenly.

Dinner had just been served when the plane hit unexpected turbulence. Photo: Instagram: ayastagrammmm

A traveller who posted on the Reddit social media site, Ollieislame, said: "Dinner was just served and everything was fine, granted we were only an hour into the flight. We had a little bump-de-bump at first and then all of a sudden the plane just dropped and started shaking like crazy.

"Then the second drop came. Everything up in the air, wine on the roof. Quite a few screams and general terror."

Ollieislame said a woman two rows behind "sloshed her wine in a glorious arc over the roof".

Another social media poster, Falsabaiana said there was no warning at all.

"It was terrifying actually. I thought that might be the end of me."

The passenger said people were "really scared" but also very understanding and the Air New Zealand staff "deserve a medal".

"The staff did their best at making us comfortable after but it was really a horrible situation.

"The staff were unable to do much more than pick up as much as they could, but many passengers needed help cleaning themselves up. It was apparent that the plane would need more than the usual cleaning once it arrived in Auckland.

"Food got absolutely everywhere and then we had to walk though it for the rest of the flight. My shoes got so sticky and the sniffer dogs loved everyone coming off our plane in Auckland."

Meanwhile Reddit poster Ollieislame also commented: "After it all calmed down, one of the attendants came onto the intercom and let us know that it was a case of severe turbulence and bad weather they didn't anticipate, that the pilots were readjusting course to get around it. Nicely finishing up the information with: 'There is nothing wrong with the plane, yet'."

Passengers posting about the incident said there were no major injuries but mentioned a flight attendant with a badly cut finger.

In a statement, Air New Zealand said: "Flight NZ90 which departed Tokyo for Auckland on Saturday 16 January, operated by a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, encountered unexpected strong turbulence during the inflight meal service which caused some catering items to fall from service carts.

"Crew moved through the cabin checking on customers and a small number were reviewed by doctors travelling on board but no further medical treatment was required."

There were 294 passengers and 13 crew on board the flight.