'Air NZ staff deserve a medal' - severe turbulence sends meals flying

Airline meals went flying into the aisle when an Air New Zealand flight from Tokyo to Auckland hit severe turbulence.

A social media user in New Zealand, who appears to have been a passenger on the flight, has posted a photo of the aftermath of the spill on social media site Imgur today.

The user, going under the name 'falsabaiana', wrote: "Flight from Tokyo to Auckland hit a patch of severe turbulence during dinner service yesterday."

"I was just about to eat mine and then it was literally ripped from my eager fingers," the poster wrote in comments below the picture on Reddit.

"No warning at all. It was terrifying actually. I thought that might be the end of me. It was a red eye flight so we got breakfast at the end of the flight in the morning.

"Thankfully no drinks had been served but a guy did get burned by the tea. This was an hour into a 10 hour flight so you can imagine the smell by the end. Stuff was even spattered on the ceiling. The Air NZ staff deserve a medal."

Falsabaiana wrote: "They went through and picked up everything they could but they just weren't equipped to do much more and so many people needed help cleaning themselves up I don't think it was that high a priority. The head steward cut his finger quite severely.

"People were really scared and thankfully really understanding. The staff did their best at making us comfortable after but it was really a horrible situation.

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

The user quipped: "Our salads certainly ended up thoroughly tossed."