Travel is back, sort of, and hopefully more destinations will open up to more of us soon. As it does, a new campaign has been launched to remind travellers to be nice and behave – we are all in this together, including all the frontline staff who suffer most when idiots get unruly and abusive.
The new ‘No More Carry On’ campaign may not have the best name ever, but the intent is there to remind us all to be aware of our actions. Certainly the vast majority of passengers will have no problems with the key elements of the code of practice outlined in the new campaign.
The campaign involves airlines and airports, together with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
(CASA). It aims to promote respect and prevent disruptive behaviour at airports and on flights.
The joint campaign, ‘No More Carry On’, calls for patience and preparedness as travellers, airline crew and airport teams navigate a return to widespread flying while managing COVID-19 related travel requirements as a result of COVID-19. The campaign follows an increase in disruptive and abusive behaviour towards airline crew, airport teams and other passengers during the pandemic, with hundreds of incidents reported across the airlines in 2021, many triggered by refusal to follow mask requirements. In extreme cases, crew have been threatened and physically assaulted by passengers.
The new awareness campaign plays on the concept that while carry-on luggage is welcome, disruptive or abusive ‘carry-on behaviour’ will not be tolerated. Airports in capital cities and regional centres around the country will display digital billboards throughout terminals and a powerful video message from airline crew will be shared on social channels.
Jetstar, Qantas, Rex and Virgin Australia have also signed up to a voluntary Code of Practice on Passenger Behaviour, which ensures a consistent approach across aviation in Australia.
Key elements of the Code of Practice include:
• Refusing to allow a customer to board, where necessary, to protect fellow passengers and crew from offensive or disruptive behaviour.
• Holding passengers who are offensive or disruptive accountable for their behaviour, including recouping costs for diversions and damage to the aircraft and imposing bans on future travel.
• Airlines and airports proactively engaging with law enforcement and CASA to support any administrative or criminal sanctions against a passenger found to have engaged in offensive or disruptive conduct.
“While the vast majority of passengers do the right thing, unfortunately as with the hospitality and retail industries, we have seen an increase in the number of people behaving badly.” says Qantas Group Executive and CEO of the Jetstar Group, Gareth Evans.
”At airports and on aircraft, critical safety procedures must be followed. There is no room for disruptive behaviour and we will act quickly to stop unruliness to ensure everyone remains safe.
“As we all get back in the sky, we ask that passengers are respectful to their fellow travellers as well our team members so we can all have a great flight.”
Ditto that. Be nice people. Mask up and let’s go somewhere snowy soon!