NZ singer escorted by police from plane

Jon Stevens. Photo / Supplied
Jon Stevens. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand-born singer Jon Stevens says he's outraged about being ejected from a Jetstar flight to Brisbane, where he was to play at a Queensland flood relief concert, and denies any bad behaviour.

Stevens was removed from flight JQ981 on Wednesday following an altercation with Jetstar staff about seating.

But Stevens maintains he did nothing wrong and says the low-cost carrier was out of line.

"In all my years of extensive travelling around the world and within Australia, I have never been treated like this," he said in a statement today.

"I did not raise my voice at any stage, did not use offensive language and I would certainly suggest that I was not behaving in a dangerous or offensive manner."

The performer, who is touring Australia's east coast with Jimmy Barnes, had travelled to Perth Airport after a concert and boarded the overnight flight to Brisbane.

He says the aircraft was preparing for take-off when he moved into an empty row of seats.

"The steward requested that he move back to his allocated seat, a directive that Stevens initially queried, but complied when told that it was airline policy," said the statement, issued by Stevens' management.

"The steward then stood there glaring at me, so I asked him why he was glaring at me," Stevens said.

"The steward replied with 'Are we going to have a problem?' and I said 'We already have a problem'."

The aircraft then returned to the terminal, and Stevens was told to disembark.

"I couldn't believe it was happening," he said, adding that he told the steward he needed to get to Brisbane to perform at a fundraiser concert for the Queensland flood relief.

Two federal police officers entered the cabin and insisted that he disembark, he said.

Jetstar confirmed police were called to remove Stevens but says staff were simply following the airline's strict safety guidelines.

"A decision was taken that he was unable to fly," a Jetstar spokeswoman told AAP.

"We have strict safety guidelines and this includes passengers following instructions of our crew.

"Our cabin crew were not confident about his willingness to follow instructions and it was also due to the fact of his disruptive behaviour."

She then added his behaviour was also aggressive.

Stevens said he booked a Virgin Blue flight to Brisbane after Jetstar imposed a 24-hour ban on him.

Stevens fronted Australian rock band INXS after the death of its lead singer Michael Hutchence and wrote the official song for the Sydney 2000 Olympics Torch Relay.

He was the lead singer of Sydney band Noiseworks which had major hits in the 1980s with Take Me Back and Touch.


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