A former Air New Zealand flight attendant shouted at a colleague over a tea and coffee mix-up and failed to engage with passengers on a return trip between Auckland and Rarotonga, her flight services manager says.

Jennifer Kilpatrick was sacked after a disagreement with bosses about her behaviour on flight NZ19 from Rarotonga to Auckland in March 2012 and her subsequent sick leave.

Emotional testimony in long-running dispute

Former flight attendant denies intimidating managers

Ms Kilpatrick took the dispute to the Employment Relations Authority, which ruled in 2013 that she was justifiably dismissed, and ordered her to pay $10,000 in costs to the national carrier.


She is fighting that decision and seeking reinstatement at an Employment Court hearing in Auckland.

In court today, flight services manager Michelle Coyle said she asked Ms Kilpatrick during a flight briefing whether she liked to be called Jen or Jenny.

She said Ms Kilpatrick replied that if she wanted to call her either of those names she was going home.

Ms Coyle noticed later in the flight that Ms Kilpatrick's gully was a mess, carts were out and she wasn't replenishing tea and coffee.

Things were "falling to pieces" in the galley, she said.

No fresh food was showing up as being available for customers to order, said Ms Coyle.

It was Ms Kilpatrick responsibility to enter the available food into the system.

At one point, Ms Kilpatrick shouted at a colleague over a tea and coffee mix-up, causing customers to turn and stare.


Ms Kilpatrick later said she hadn't been shouting but had a loud voice.

There were further behavioural issues on the flight back to Auckland, with Ms Kilpatrick failing to act proactively or positively and failing to engage with passengers.

Ms Coyle said she gave staff feedback on each tour of duty.

She wasn't sure how Ms Kilpatrick would react to feedback during the flight so opted to provide it after the flight landed in Auckland.

She used a satellite phone to arrange for management staff to meet them on arrival at the airport, on the flight captain's advice.

When Ms Coyle sought the flight captain's advice he asked if Ms Kilpatrick needed to be stood down.

Ms Coyle said she did not as she was performing her duties.

When asked to stay onboard on arrival at Auckland, Ms Kilpatrick said she was a victim and being set up.

She said her work day had finished and said she was sick.

In court earlier this week, Ms Kilpatrick described being "detained" as managers attempted to conduct the performance review.

No issues about her behaviour or actions had been raised with her during the flight, she said.

She described the process as abusive, claiming she was ignored and mocked when she said she felt sick.

Ms Coyle today denied Ms Kilpatrick was blocked from leaving the plane saying the door was open and staff were standing to the side of it.

"Ms Kilpatrick could have walked off the aircraft. Nobody was stopping her."

However, there would have been consequences if she'd left, Ms Coyle said.

Asked by Ms Kilpatrick's lawyer John Burley why management needed to meet the pair for the routine feedback session, Ms Coyle said it hadn't been a routine flight.

"It's not routine that a captain asks whether he should stand down a flight attendant."

The case is continuing.