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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2934

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE(9.42) —I do not expect the Minister to make a response but I will feel much better for having said this. I was climbing off a Qantas Airways Ltd flight recently and on to a flight from Sydney to Perth with Ansett Airlines of Australia. In one hand I had a regulation sized briefcase and in the other hand I had a plastic bag containing a modest quantity of duty free goods. The air hostess at the gate refused me permission to carry the plastic bag on board.

Senator Grimes —She didn't like the look of you.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —I do not know about that; she chased me down the runway; I came out with both hands fighting. When I climbed on board the aircraft, I found that it was a Boeing 767. There were 30 first class seats but only 14 occupied. I find it absolutely bizarre and absurd that airlines allow their employees to harass, intimidate and terrify innocent passengers such as me in those circumstances. I find it disappointing that the Department lauds the procedures presently being used. It is unfortunate that the Department has not made it clear to the public that the machine through which one is required to put one's bag to test its size is not as a result of a departmental regulation. Without exception, the air hostesses and cabin attendants blame the Department and not the airlines. I find that regrettable, to say the least.