Australian airlines and airports have launched a joint campaign to promote respect and prevent disruptive behavior at airports and on flights.
The campaign, which was launched on December 20, 2021, was done in cooperation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), as air travel picks up amidst the summer and holiday season.
Called “No More Carry On,” the campaign follows an increase in disruptive and abusive behaviour, with hundreds of incidents reported across the airlines in 2021, many triggered by a 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 behavior’ will not be tolerated. Airports in capital cities and regional centers around Australia will display digital billboards throughout terminals and a video message from airline crew will be shared on social channels.
The Australian airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, Rex and Virgin Australia), have also signed up to a voluntary Code of Practice on Passenger Behavior, 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.
“CASA strongly supports the ‘No More Carry On’ campaign. We are pleased to have been involved in this important safety initiative.Passengers need to understand that bad behavior on an aircraft can put safety at risk,” CEO and Director of Safety at CASA, Pip Spence said in response to the campaign.
It can disrupt the important safety duties of aircraft crew members, cause distractions during critical phases of flight and jeopardize the safety of other passengers. Under our aviation safety regulations substantial penalties can be imposed for offensive or disorderly behavior on board an aircraft and for failing to comply with any safety-related instructions.”