A New Zealander choked to death on his in-flight meal while on a flight from Singapore to Auckland on August 29.

Robert Rippingale, 31, was flying Jetstar airlines with his girlfriend Vanessa Preechakul, 27, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

She watched in horror as he expired right next to him only half-and hour into the 11-hour flight.

He was pronounced dead by an onboard physician 90 minutes after departure.

Rippingdale was eating a meal of beef and chicken, when he started shaking in his seat.

I thought he was laughing very hard; then I looked at his face and his eyes were rolling and he couldn't talk. His lips were turning purple, his girlfriend said.

[After performing CPR], the doctor came to me and said he was so sorry; he did his best.

After landing in New Zealand, Preechakul told reporters: One minute we were sitting next to each other kissing, holding hands and the next minute he was choking. I kept thinking 'How could you do this to me?'He wanted to come back [to New Zealand] so much and he just left me there.”

Rippingale, whose funeral was held on Saturday, wanted to bring his girlfriend to New Zealand to celebrate his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

 Jetstar spokesman Andrew McGinnes expressed his condolences.
“This was a very difficult and sad event and our sympathies are with the passenger's family, he said.