Qantas Compensates $33,731 to Flight Steward for Stealing Alcohol

The flight distance between Sydney and Perth is nearly 3300 kilometres and it takes slightly more than 4 hours to get there. Other than the usual routine that flight attendants have to perform when the plane is in the air, I am pretty sure there will still be some time left to catch a breath, chit-chat, relax or for some other activities like – pocketing.

On one particular sector between Sydney and Perth, towards the end of the flight, there was a who-knows-why body search conducted by Qantas for all their flight attendants and apparently, one flight attendant was apprehended and found in his possession, 

“a can and a bottle of beer in his jacket, two 50ml bottles of vodka in his trousers and a 50ml bottle of gin in his bag.”

The flight attendant claimed that he must have unknowingly put the beer and vodka into his pockets while serving passengers. The gin he claimed, was purchased from a hotel’s mini bar although after much questioning, he finally admitted to taking only the beers from the plane’s ice drawers.

Qantas held him accountable for dishonesty and terminated his employment. He filed a complain to Fair Work Commission of Australia for unfair dismissal because Qantas failed to:

  1. take into account 28 years of “unblemished­” service,
  2. his age,
  3. recent surgery causing four mounts off work and 
  4. his contrition.

The commission concurred that his dismissal from Qantas was too severe and thus ordered Qantas to compensate the flight steward,

“A$33,731, equivalent to six months’ pay.”

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K̶Colin sleep travels poorly. He can't seem to find a hotel bed that shares the unique olfactory charm of his own.