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Qantas goes low octane on WA flights

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Qantas goes low octane on WA flights

Old 1st Nov 2009, 22:03
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Qantas goes low octane on WA flights

GEOFFREY THOMAS AVIATION WRITER,
The West Australian October 30, 2009

Qantas has banned spirits and full-strength beer on all its flights within WA because of the drunken behaviour of resource industry workers.

The airline withdrew spirits from its flights across the country, except in WA and Mt Isa, last year because of slow demand and added more premium beer selections.

However, after repeated problems with drunken passengers and with the support of the airline's key resource company accounts, Qantas decided to act, effective this week.

According to industry insiders, the worst flights were from Karratha, Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie, although the ban also applies to Broome, Paraburdoo and Newman.

The airline declined to be specific about the reasons for the changes but admitted that the removal of full-strength beer was unique to WA and Mt Isa flights. Wine will remain on board.

Alcohol is banned completely on all resource industry charters.

The new regulations come after the Australian Office of Transport Security reported a fourfold increase in serious unruly behaviour, with serious incidents rising to 279 and many offenders getting jail terms.

In May, Australian Services Union assistant national secretary Linda White singled out the resource industry, with its high number of workers who use normal scheduled services, as a major problem area.

An ASU survey found 81 per cent of airline workers in Perth had been abused by passengers.

The Flight Attendants Association of Australia has lauded the new restrictions. Association president Steven Reed has said that Australian travellers, particularly resource workers, "drink to excess".

"Resource workers on scheduled flights are a major problem," he said.

After arriving in Perth from the North-West, many resources workers then commute from Perth on to Eastern States destinations and insiders say Qantas is carefully monitoring their behaviour.

The airline's international flights are not affected by the new alcohol restrictions.

Qantas was criticised earlier this year for allowing an out of control drunkard to board a flight from Darwin to Perth. The passenger was allowed to board a flight after he had downed six pints of beer before the flight. Courts are now taking strong action against unruly behaviour with heavy fines and jail sentences.

Many offenders are also losing their jobs. On resource charters any abuse of airline staff is met with instant dismissal.


I wonder if this will lead to a higher incidence of workers getting their booze fix in the Q club or airport bars prior to boarding?
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Old 1st Nov 2009, 22:39
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blacklist

Best thing for this is a couple of lifetime bans. Just to simmer things down a bit.
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Old 1st Nov 2009, 22:44
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Angry

You would have to be on "Resources" type salaries to turn up sober, and the get pizt at either the bar or on board with the prices they charge for a couple of drinks
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Old 1st Nov 2009, 23:55
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Mr Hat, exactly however there seems to be a lack of the required testicular matter by either airlines or employers to make such a bold move.

I'll bet the holiday punters to Broome will be very p1ssed off indeed.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 00:17
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Mr Hat, disagree, the best thing for those particular flights is NO alchohol, surely the rig pigs can survive without a drink, as they have to with smokes, for 2 hours or so
Even with the threat of unemployment, a lot of these rock apes are just too dumb to work it out, so the airlines should work it out for them.
( my wife put up with these clowns for years, so I'm a bit more passionate about it than most )
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 00:20
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.......the "blind eye" has been turned for at least 15 yrs over here.

AN crews got hammered-BUT put up with it 'cause of the $$$$$.

QF initially put on temporary bans......but were impotent!

Then came along the messiah........OH&S and Random Drug and Alcohol testing

Many of the larger firms in the Pilbara, "Meeka" and Parabadoo all had a zero policy. So the issue was the return leg into PER. These Clowns were usually p!ssed before they got on,pockets full of cash and had a groaning urge in their loins...... to head straight for some low dive at Northbridge for 5-6 days R&R.

So all in all its a good move.

I'm off now to Northbridge for a Vanilla Malted Milkshake and a Vanilla Slice
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 01:05
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Mr Hat has it right. Why punish people who behave normally because of some bad behaviour by a few cashed up bogans.

If you make an example of a few by implementing a total ban on them they become unemployable. Unless they want to drive to Perth on their days off.

The word gets around real quickly if a few yobs lose their high paying jobs.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 01:57
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The ban is not solely WA flights,although the WA bogans may be the driving force, another journo with incorrect info.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 02:46
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RENURPP, the article does also mention Mt Isa flights. Do you know of any other routes affected?
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 02:57
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Ever seen spirits burn?
I say its a good thing to get rid of all that stuff on a plane anyway. Will save more lives in the event of a crash.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 03:11
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Yeah not to mention that 5 or 6 tonne of highly flmable stuff carried in the wings.
Deep breath - in -and out - in - and out. Remember the wise words "don't feed the trolls".
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 04:02
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Hey Jandakot......take a deep breath there too!

I reckon that post may have been "tongue in cheek"...... just a hunch!

J

Seems he/she is a k1w1 too so make exceptions would ya!
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 04:24
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This is just silly!

Spent a few years as an FA on FIFO jobs, and these guys are generally the best behaved, decent guys you could find.

Sure there were one or two exceptions to the rule, but they were usually dealt with by the others quicksmart.

Used to work on the BNE-ISA-Telfer return - on the way out it was dry.

On the way back, they knew that so long as they behaved and were catching a cab/not driving at the other end, we would look after them within reason.

We looked after them - lowered the window shades down the back and raised the armrests to create a sleeping section, and sat down with the rest up the front, playing cards with them, chatting, watching dvd's and other funny stuff on their laptops, and making sure they were fed and watered (or 'spirited').

On one occasion, we were not catered properly, and with the help of the guys up front, we managed to get steak burgers from a roadhouse near the airport in ISA delivered in a few milk crates to the aircraft door- 'who ordered the works minus the egg' was much more fun to say than 'steak or fish'.

We looked after them, they looked after us.

Was a stark contrast to the time when a gung-ho bunch of rule nazis enforced one drink per hour and insisted (wrongly) on charging them. Needless to say, few were amused when they 'revolted' in ISA and found their way into the terminal via the baggage carousel.

Am still friends with a few of them, as are a number of my other former colleagues.

Passengers who address you by name with a slap on the back/shoulder, and in some cases buy you a birthday card/shout the crew to drinks after the flight at christmas time - give me that any day over some red wine guzzling, suit wearing cityflyer knob!
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 05:01
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Thumbs up

i'm with ozangel.
done plenty of flights with rig and mine guys. just picked the ring leader of the group, have a quiet chat with him that if anyone in the group stuffed up we would have to shut the bar. he would then 'police' the others. worked like a charm, everybody happy. have to agree about the 'nazis'. everybody, including themselves, ending up not happy.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 06:15
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Ozangel, unfortunately the times have changed. And as the journo points out, the new rules are for RPT, not FIFO. Had you been in the middle of some of the many recent altercations crew have had in the cabin, I think you'd support the QF move.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 07:04
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indamiddle - spot on.

CapnBloggs - fair point - one of the wayward one's went so far as to follow a fellow crew member to the carpark and throw a glass bottle (VB) at her head - and I was outraged - until both she and I found out what happened to him - lets just say he didn't JUST lose his job!!!

The rest of the guys responded as if this had happened to their own daughter.

It shouldn't have happened in the first place, but would have regardless with this particular nutcase.

The TEF trips were combined FIFO/RPT on the BNE-ISA-BNE sectors - I personally never had a single problem... Have done a number of ISA flights working with QF, and never a problem there either - mind you the CSM that frequents that route like clockwork at QF runs a good show - all the regular passengers love her. (Qualified recent experience).

To put this in perspective, the experiences I speak of are just over 5 years ago. As a camp male flightie, i'm the last you'd expect the FIFO guys to treat with respect - but they did.

My main point I guess is, its a shame that the attention has been centered on a silly few, as opposed to the majority that are decent blokes. On a side note, imagine the uproar if the crew hotels stopped serving booze to flight/cabin crew - i've seen far worse behaviour from pilots/flighties at hotel bars. (Granted, apples vs oranges)

After the baggage carousel incident in ISA, the option of removing booze was contemplated as well - in the end, logic prevailed and for the most part, they tended to crew the flight with the girls (and me), who had taken the time to get to know the passengers and didn't burst into tears at the sight of porn on a laptop, or have a power trip when a one of the guys asked for a second bundy.

Not saying you are wrong CB, people do some awful things - but I really just don't think this is the solution. Have spoken to some NJS(cobham), PER SH, and other FIFO girls/guys - and they all agree.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 07:23
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Yes unfortunately punishing the masses for the sins of a few is the way to go these days.
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 07:43
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Yes unfortunately punishing the masses for the sins of a few is the way to go these days
Just like some of our procedures, designed for the lowest common denominator.
Dry flight = no probs, no " Oh come on just one more " or " I'll have the wine then " etc etc, if there is no alchohol on board, then it is very simple.

Sorry Ozangel, beg to differ :

Zero air rage

Concerned at the growing numbers of air-rage attacks against customer service members at airports, the Australian Services Union (ASU) launched a nationwide survey in the unions campaign to improve airport safety. The ASU claims that despite an increase in airport security members often face delays in getting help due to limited police numbers. The majority of air-rage incidents are alcohol related, despite the fact it is illegal to board an aircraft while drunk. Hostility levels of passengers have also increased due to the introduction of extra security measures since September 11th 2001. The ASU will present the collected statistics on air-rage incidents to the Federal Parliament's Joint Parliamentary Committee Review of Aviation Security in Australia early this month.
ASU Media Release

and this :

BOOZED-UP and drug-addled passengers are behind a spike in air rage over Australian skies.
There were 279 reports of altercations between passengers in 2008, up 64 from 2007, Office of Transport Security figures show.
And in the past nine months, 19 in-air blues have led to arrests by the Australian Federal Police
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 07:58
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respect your right to differ on opinion - I 110% support any reason to reduce occurences of this kind - none the less - I would do it differently...
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 08:52
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Australia is getting softer & softer every day. Law abiding people pay the price.

Keep it simple I say. If you are a repeat offender you get a life ban from travelling on aircraft fullstop.

Lets get real here. Families and business people don't hand over money on a flight to have dazza and his mates getting on the turps next to them for the entire ride to the destination. And the flight attendants aren't getting paid to be "aircraft" bouncers.

You can't behave then you get a bus.
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