Airline in 'flush your drugs' storm
Published 30/07/2014 | 04:09
An Australian airline has apologised after an attendant gave passengers who might have been flying high a warning that there were drug-sniffer dogs awaiting them at Sydney airport - prompting a rush for the toilets.
Many of the 210 passengers aboard the Jetstar flight from Gold Coast city on Sunday night had attended the Splendour in the Grass weekend music festival at Byron Bay and were returning home.
"We have been told there are sniffer dogs and quarantine officers waiting in the domestic terminal," The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney quoted the attendant as telling passengers via the Airbus A320's public address system.
"If you need to dispose of anything you shouldn't have, we suggest you flush it now," he added.
The newspaper said after the warning, passengers headed for the toilets.
Jetstar spokesman Stephen Moynihan said the public response to the announcement had been "mixed".
The airline said it routinely made quarantine announcements on flights that cross state borders.
"The crew member's words were poorly chosen and are plainly at odds with the professional standards we'd expect from our team," Jetstar said. "We apologise to customers offended by the comments."
Jetstar said it was "addressing the matter with the cabin crew member involved".
One passenger, who told the newspaper several people suddenly made for the toilets, said: "Why would you tip people off about this? If they have got something illegal, let them get caught."
But the response on Jetstar's Facebook page was largely positive.
"What a good Samaritan, Jetstar Australia this guy deserves a promotion," Rohit Dwivedi posted.
"Of course you should warn your passengers to help avoid them being humiliated, locked in a cage or fined," Jebediah Cole wrote.
Australian Federal Police declined to comment.