A former senior Qantas flight attendant is charged with exposing himself to a female colleague and touching her breasts during a flight, but claims he got her consent …
The claims against a former Qantas flight attendant
A 54-year-old former Qantas flight attendant is currently on trial for guilty of two indecent acts during a flight from Perth to Melbourne in April 2019. In short, the 54-year-old man (who was the head of the commercial booth) touched the breasts of a 21-year-old colleague and then exposed himself to her.
This whole incident happened when the two flight attendants were taking a break in the back of the plane, in an area enclosed by a curtain. The man’s side of the story is as follows:
- While the two were taking a break, the 21 year old flight attendant asked him about some of his experiences during his 23 years as a flight attendant and she called him “a naughty boy” and asked if he had joined the mile high club, so he thought , she would come upon him
- The man started talking about meeting crew members and telling her a story about meeting a big-breasted colleague
- At that point he asked if he could touch her breasts so he did and when he did he asked if her breasts were real to which she replied that they were
- The man then said something about his genitals before asking the woman if she wanted to see – at that point, “it quickly dissolved [his] fly and exposed [his] Penis for half a second and put it back in “
- Shortly after, she left the crew rest stop and he said she “seemed fine” and he even made her a cup of mint tea later
- The woman claims the man asked her not to tell anyone what happened, but he denies it
Again, the above is the full version of the senior flight attendant’s events, so that’s only part of the story.
Man claims chemical imbalance and consent
The man defends himself by making a few claims:
- He had a chemical imbalance that was causing this – “I had a chemical imbalance in my head and I put my hand on her shoulder and touched her left breast.”
- He had her approval and that she was the one who turned their conversation into an adult one based on her questions and comments
- He “just went with” and “unfortunately it got out of control”
If the man is found guilty, he faces up to seven years in prison.
I notice a few things about this story:
- The man here should have known better on so many levels – he was in a position of power over his colleague (in terms of role, age, etc.), he shouldn’t equate someone who doesn’t actively say “no” in order to agree and he shouldn’t assume that someone is okay with sexual contact just because they were open to talking about something
- Whether or not the man had his approval, this is an outrageously unprofessional way to act while on a flight
- His defense is omnipresent – was it due to a chemical imbalance, or is he sticking to his story that he had his approval and basically just went along with it?
While this is by no means a defense of what happened, the reality is that many airlines do a ton of fun business during layovers. For the most part, this seems to fly under the radar more than other workplaces, especially given the fact that staff are stopping off together, there are plenty of consent cases, etc.
Even so, I am sometimes surprised that there are no more cases like this where police reports are filed. For the wrong reasons, “consent” can be a slippery slope when it comes to flight attendants of different ranks, alcohol, etc.
A former Qantas flight attendant is on trial for what happened on a flight in April 2019, where he touched and exposed a colleague’s breasts. He claims he had a chemical imbalance, but also that he had her consent, which is apparently due to her not actively stopping him.
I will be curious to see what will become of this process.