Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
A group of international flight attendants who recently flew to Sydney, Australia have been fined a total of A$13,000 after allegedly breaching a strict hotel quarantine in order to go shopping. The crew had arrived on a flight from South America on December 5, although New South Wales police have only recently released details of the incident as health officials in the state launch a clampdown on “disobedience” amongst foreign aircrew.
A police spokesperson said officers had become aware that at least one flight attendant had left the hotel close to Sydney International Airport and officers were dispatched to the hotel the same night.
“As part of inquiries, officers from South Sydney Police Area Command attended the hotel about 9.30 pm that day, before speaking with management and aircrew members,” the NSW police force explained in a statement.
“It will be alleged several crew members left the hotel and attended nearby businesses at Mascot,” the statement continued. Police did not say what airline the flight attendants worked for.
The quarantine flouting flight attendants were immediately put back into lockdown and had to undergo tests for COVID-19. All the tests came back negative. In total, 13 crew members were issued with $1,000 Penalty Infringement Notices.
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state had been struggling with “disobedience” from international aircrew and only several weeks a go, another flight attendant was found breaching hotel quarantine rules while out and about in Sydney shopping.
Nearly all international arrivals into Australia are placed into compulsory hotel quarantine for 14-days at so-called designated ‘medi-hotels’. International aircrew also have to quarantine in a hotel for the duration of their layover but until now, airlines were able to place crew in whatever hotel they chose.
As part of a new crackdown, however, all international crew arriving in Sydney will have to stay at one of only two specially designated hotels which will be under police guard.
The change will bring Sydney’s quarantine rules in-line with the likes of Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand where armed police officers are sometimes posted at either end of hotel corridors where cabin crew are staying. Crew are only allowed to open the door to their room to receive food and can only leave the room when it is time to check-out for their return flight home.
Earlier this week, it emerged that a flight attendant for Dutch airline KLM had been detained in Singapore for allegedly breaching quarantine rules. The crew member is said to have been found wandering the lobby of the hotel when he stopped and taken into police custody.
Flight attendants have recently been linked to several COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney. Several weeks ago, quarantining aircrew are believed to have infected a hotel cleaner, while a couple of days ago, a bus driver who exclusively drives aircrew to and from the airport tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.