Aviation

Flight attendant sacked for drinking a quarter of a bottle of vodka loses Fair Work appeal

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

A flight attendant who was sacked for drinking a quarter of a bottle of vodka during a flight has had her appeal to the Fair Work Commission dismissed.

Qantas sacked the flight attendant in October last year after she admitted to drinking a quarter of a litre of vodka mixed with soda water on a flight from Sydney to Johannesburg in July.

The attendant, who was employed in a critical safety role, was removed from her duties before landing and tested positive for an alcohol breath test upon arriving in Johannesburg.

She also admitted to misleading the investigation by claiming she had bought the vodka from duty-free before boarding the flight when in reality she drank her employer’s alcohol.

The attendant argued her sacking was disproportionate to her misconduct and failed to take into account her 31 years of good service, according to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

The commission did not accept her argument, though deputy president Geoffrey Bull said of all the matters put forward, he considered her length of good service as the most compelling.

According to SMH, Bull said the attendant had occupied “a safety-sensitive position and for good reason was prohibited from consuming alcohol during a flight”.

He also said Qantas’ policy of prohibiting consumption of alcohol while on duty provides its passengers “a degree of comfort that should an emergency arise the aircraft crew will not be under the influence of alcohol in responding to an emergency”.

The news comes a month after another Qantas flight attendant, who was sacked for having a few too many peach martinis, lost his appeal against a Fair Work ruling that upheld his dismissal.

Travel Weekly reached out to Qantas but the airline declined to comment.

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