An anti-alcohol organisation Drug Arm Australia has urged for all alcohol to be banned on planes, and even at airports, claiming such action would “reduce the risk and harms associated with alcohol use and increase the safety of both passengers and crew”.
This follows a series of drunken incidents resulting in planes being diverted. Last month, a Virgin Australia flight travelling from Brisbane to Darwin was diverted after a passenger became abusive. Also Qantas plane flying from Bangkok to Sydney was diverted to Cairns after a man tried to steal alcohol before becoming violent. A spokeswom from Virgin stated “our policy also states that guests are unable to consume their own alcohol on board including Duty Free purchases and our crew are trained to monitor any consumption of this kind,” she said
While under Australian aviation laws, flight crews must be trained on the responsible service of alcohol, individual diversions can cost airlines tens of thousands of dollars. FLIGHT FURY: Police vow to crack down on air rage
Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have, however, claimed to be satisfied that their service of alcohol to passengers is responsible. A spokesperson for Qantas stated “offering alcohol on board our planes and in our lounges is part of Qantas’ premium service and it is valued by our customers. “However we take a zero tolerance approach towards anti-social and aggressive behaviour and for any actions that could compromise the safety of anyone on board a Qantas group aircraft.”
Source: The Australian September 23, 2014