Skip to comments.Airline Sorry for 'Drunk Tongans' Slur
Posted on 03/23/2010 11:26:15 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Air New Zealand has apologised after it was discovered that its previous crew manual featured national profiling of its passengers' attitudes and drinking habits.
The 2008 document reportedly claimed that Tongans were "softly spoken, reserved people" but added that they might also "drink the bar dry", the New Zealand Herald reports.
Chairman of the Tongan Advisory Council Melino Maka said: "I don't think Tongans are different from any others when there's free access to alcohol, but what I think [is] the airline should concentrate on education rather than trying to take pot shots at people.
"The remarks are extremely hurtful, and it is not good for public relations or race relations."
Air New Zealand service general manager Alan Gaskin said that the document is no longer in use, adding: "It was not intended to cause offence and we apologise if it has.
"This section of the document was designed as a reference guide to ensure international cabin crew were familiar with the expectations of the diverse range of nationalities Air New Zealand carries on its international services, so they could provide service levels matching each customer's expectations."
The document also suggested that while people from the Chinese mainland are unfussy, those from Honk Kong are demanding. Crew were also told that Korean passengers expect good manners and patience.
I've paged someone who was staying with us last month who took AIR NZ down here and back home for his opinion.
As for the advice AIR NZ offered to the crew, they have to be aware of characteristics in markets where demographics and expectations differ.
The 2008 document reportedly claimed that Tongans were "softly spoken, reserved people" but added that they might also "drink the bar dry", the New Zealand Herald reports.The 2010 version says that Tongans "are loudmouthed, violent drunks who nevertheless respond well to tasers."
I was very happy with NZ airlines.
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