Flight Attendant Vows To “Fight Against” Passenger Who Reported ‘Free Palestine’ Uniform Violation

Flight attendants on a December 20 QantasLink flight from Melbourne to Hobart, Tasmania wore Palestinian flag pins. One (non-Jewish) passenger reported feeling “incredibly uncomfortable.” Pro-Hamas demonstrators have been out in force, and the passenger says this made them feel unsafe.

A crewmember who was photographed with the pin inflight, and whose photo has gone viral, has vowed to “fight against” this passenger.

The pin was a violation of the airline’s uniform standards, according to Qantas, and the airline says they are reminding crew about this policy.

Cabin crew are not allowed to wear any badges unless they are part of the approved uniform policy. Every customer should feel safe and respected when flying on a Qantas Aircraft.

However pro-Palestinian statements and activism has been common among Qantas flight crew over the past month. On a Qantas low cost carrier Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Ballina, a flight attendant ended their announcement on takeoff with “Free Palestine!” The airline says they investigated and concluded the passenger must have ‘misheard’. Like, maybe the flight attendant was offering everyone on board a free pail of wine?

Meanwhile, an Israeli citizen returning to Brisbane who had friends killed in the October 7 terrorist attacks, reports being told at Qantas check-in that her “government is dropping” as a result of bombs that were being launched by Hamas, and that “It’s terrible what your government is doing.”

In the U.S. we’ve seen passengers removed from aircraft. One thing that I think gets almost universal support is keeping politics off of planes, especially where those around you can’t avoid hearing or seeing it.

As one United pilot put it right after the 2016 presidential election, “When cooler heads prevail and we can talk and realize that we’re all human beings and we can all stick togehter and we can all pull for this country in our own way then that’s what we should do.” The whole cabin cheered.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ josh says:

    “@Gary dont waste your time or effort with these people. @Platy has already made his point and repeated it 1000 times. You have patiently responded to him over and over. I am impressed amazed by your tolerance. . Finished. You should remove him so can get back to the main point which is that flight crew should be fired for not following their company policy on such an important issue. You have a great blog so need to do some moderation .”

    Bad news, buddy. The flight crew member CANNOT be fired under operant Australian industrial relations legislation for the supposed / alleged offence.

    That is regardless of how misplaced or histrionic the original article by Gary Leff or the public campaign by the CEO of the Australian Jewish Association in contravention of its own mission statement with respect to individual rights and Australian law. Both self-defeating misfires, sadly, more likely to alienate their audience rather than inspire support.

    Such are the inalienable realities of the case.

    As is the fact that Gary miscast the original story as some sort of antisemitic crisis when it was a political beat up. Sanity check – if the (non Jewish and non Israeli political aspirant) original complainant was seriously “intimidated” by a tie pin, then he is hardly going to promote his identity on national media by agreeing to an interview of Sky news. Duh.

    These are all the facts of the situation.

    Be reassured that Gary Leff has a history of not being tolerant when called out for misrepresentation and mistruth (IME he readily censors dissenting comments). He also has a record of personal vilification of commentators (which is why I generally don’t bother commenting). In this case, I have kept detailed records so can provide definitive evidence, if ever required.

    In the case of this article and responses, my comments have been held in moderation for up to THREE DAYS (I have the evidence).

    They then appear selectively and out of order since others do not have their comments held up for days in moderation. It’s all part of his game to undermine the creditability of comments which challenge his inaccuracies, base ethics and personal abuse of dissenting commentators.

    He has previously falsely called me a liar for claiming that all of my comments are blocked for moderation and then withheld for inordinate periods of time. I just happened again and comments were only released AFTER he was called out for censorship.

    Oh yeah – more disturbingly, you have profoundly insulted my Jewish friends – one is the son of two Holocaust – apparently that ain’t Jewish enough for your world view.

    I continue to post in their honour despite being maligned as anti semitic by Gary Leff and yourself.

  2. @ Samir Akhavan

    “Fired? I am certain you mean an appropriate reprimand (which may, or may not, include termination) as determined by their employment contract?”

    But no. The CEO of the local Australian Jewish Association is on a public mission to have her fired. That is all that matters to Gary Leff and certain strident commentators herein baying for the blood of an Iindividual wearing a tie pin.

    Although that organisation claims to respect Indi visual rights and Australia law, that is bypassed when they want to vilify an individual in the national public media. It’s disgusting stuff. And in contravention of that organisation’s claimed mission statement

    But yes. It is unlikely that a campaign of national media intimidation from a Jewish advocacy organisation against one individual will triumph over the legislation pertaining to her employment contract. Such big end of town bullying doesn’t go down well in Australia…;)

  3. Doug; while this is not a political forum – how exactly is Maria’s comment “uneducated antisemitic”?
    If this merits a response, please keep it civil.

  4. @samir
    Usually anybody that says “free palestine” means that israel should cease to exist and all the land should be palestine
    “Palestine” is free, israel pulled out of gaza 15 years ago…
    What about let the israeli citizens live? Those that were murdered and raped by the so called “oppressed” palestinians

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