WHO: Air New Zealand
WHAT: A flight returning from Fiji was blanketed with a thick fog of fumigants for five minutes because its biosecurity clearance had expired a few hours earlier. The fumigant caused a baby to gag and vomit, and left one man with a sore throat.
WHERE: Air NZ passengers fumigated [New Zealand Herald] (Thanks to Nicholas!)
THE QUOTE: “It’s not like we don’t take this seriously, which is why we had the [Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry] people come on board.”
BONUS QUOTE: Spokeswoman Di Patton provided a refreshingly candid explanation before ruining everything with the driveling placation.
“But she said the airline did not consider it had made a mistake in terms of not having its biosecurity clearances before passengers boarded, saying “these kind of things happen”.
“In this particular instance it was by one day the biosecurity clearance had expired – a few hours, in fact. It’s not really a mistake. It’s just happened as a result of other things.”
“Taking it seriously” is a phrase companies use over and over again in public statements whenever they have bad PR. Our series of posts on occurrences of the phrase is our attempt to question how seriously companies are really taking these matters if every time they trot out this phrase by rote.