Virgin Australia flight attendant accused of ‘extremely inappropriate’ anti-mask rant

Passenger says crew member encouraged them to ‘complain to Federal Government’ about mask mandate

Jo Caird
Monday 04 July 2022 11:10 BST
Virgin Australia crew member accused of “extremely inappropriate” anti-mask rant
Virgin Australia crew member accused of “extremely inappropriate” anti-mask rant (Getty Images)

A passenger has accused a flight attendant of “extremely inappropriate” behaviour, claiming they delivered out an anti-mask rant during his Virgin Australia flight from Brisbane to Syndey.

Brisbane-based lawyer Eddie Synot tweeted on 30 June that the flight’s crew captain was “complaining to passengers about Fed Govt mask mandate and encouraging passengers to complain to Fed Govt”.

The tweet went on: “This is a closed space with limited circulation and Covid remains a serious threat”.

In response, Virgin Australia tweeted: “We're terribly sorry to hear this. The health and safety of everyone onboard is always our number one priority, and for this reason, we strongly encourage all guests to comply with health orders and wear face masks.”

A second tweet from the official account read: “We also require our cabin crew to wear face masks while working on board an aircraft. We have sent you a DM to confirm the date of your flight so we can investigate this matter further.”

Synot’s words were retweeted nearly 1,000 times and received more than 4,800 likes. Many Twitter users responded with their own experiences of Virgin Australia crew members failing to enforce mask mandates on flights.

Masks are no longer required to be worn in Australian airports as of 17 June but are still mandatory on domestic flights within Australia. Qantas recently lifted mask requirements for some international flights.

On 1 July, Synot followed up his original tweet to clarify that he does not wish anyone to be punished, and was disappointed by responses by other Twitter users to that effect. Rather, he said that his “concern is to highlight and ensure messaging is enforced. Covid remains [a] serious threat.

“My toddler is unvaccinated, my wife pregnant and many extended family at increased risk. It’s not a joke.”

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