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Flight attendant loses fair work appeal after being sacked for peach martini binge

Ali Coulton

A Qantas flight attendant who was sacked after having a few too many peach martinis and gin and tonics has lost his appeal against a Fair Work ruling that upheld the dismissal.

Luke Urso collapsed in a toilet at the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar in New York in 2017 after he said he drank two peach martinis and three gin and tonics.

Urso said the bar staff “free poured” the drinks, leading him to consume around 14 standard drinks instead of the five he intended, resulting in a hospital visit where he recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.187.

Once he was discharged, Urso called in sick for a flight to Los Angelas he was rostered to work on and was sacked.

The hospital stay ended up costing Qantas $20,000.

News Limited reported a Fair Work full bench dismissed Luke Urso’s appeal, agreeing with Qantas that Urso’s evidence was “implausible and unbelievable”.

“The evidence tends to suggest that he had significantly more than five drinks, in which case “free pouring” loses whatever capacity it had to exonerate him,” the full bench said according to News Limited.

“We observe in any event that Mr Urso, who was clearly not a naif concerning the consumption of alcohol, could not seriously have thought that a drink in the nature of a peach martini would only contain one standard nip of alcohol.

“It defies common sense that a person exercising the requisite degree of restraint could put themselves in the position of consuming 14 standard drinks and then passing out in a period of well under two hours.

“That Mr Urso got himself in that condition was, we consider, the result of recklessness and misjudgment on his part.”

Qantas has declined Travel Weekly’s request for comment.

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