Aviation Industry promotes respect, not carry on

20 December 2021: As Australians take to the skies again ahead of the school holidays, airlines and airports, together with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), have launched a new campaign to promote respect and prevent disruptive behaviour at airports and on flights.

The joint campaign, ‘No More Carry On’, calls for patience and preparedness as travellers, airline crew and airport teams navigate a return to widespread flying while managing COVID-19 related travel requirements as a result of COVID-19.

The campaign follows an increase in disruptive and abusive behaviour towards airline crew, airport teams and other passengers during the pandemic, with hundreds of incidents reported across the airlines in 2021, many triggered by refusal to follow mask requirements. In extreme cases, crew have been threatened and physically assaulted by passengers.

The new awareness campaign plays on the concept that while carry-on luggage is welcome, disruptive or abusive ‘carry-on behaviour’ will not be tolerated. Airports in capital cities and regional centres around the country will display digital billboards throughout terminals and a powerful video message from airline crew will be shared on social channels.

Jetstar, Qantas, Rex and Virgin Australia have also signed up to a voluntary Code of Practice on Passenger Behaviour, which ensures a consistent approach across aviation in Australia.

Key elements of the Code of Practice include:

  • Refusing to allow a customer to board, where necessary, to protect fellow passengers and crew from offensive or disruptive behaviour.
  • Holding passengers who are offensive or disruptive accountable for their behaviour, including recouping costs for diversions and damage to the aircraft and imposing bans on future travel.
  • Airlines and airports proactively engaging with law enforcement and CASA to support any administrative or criminal sanctions against a passenger found to have engaged in offensive or disruptive conduct.

All airlines and airports train their employees in how to handle disruptive passengers, with a focus on de-escalation where possible. In serious cases, the AFP will be called to deal with the unruly passenger.


Qantas Group Executive and CEO of the Jetstar Group, Gareth Evans

“Over the next few months, millions of Australians will be heading off on holidays or to see family and our teams are here to help customers navigate the new travel requirements, like masks and border declarations, which are now in place across the country.

“While the vast majority of passengers do the right thing, unfortunately as with the hospitality and retail industries, we have seen an increase in the number of people behaving badly.

”At airports and on aircraft, critical safety procedures must be followed. There is no room for disruptive behaviour and we will act quickly to stop unruliness to ensure everyone remains safe.

“As we all get back in the sky, we ask that passengers are respectful to their fellow travellers as well our team members so we can all have a great flight.”

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Specialist Protective Command Andrea Quinn

“It is an ideal time to revive and strengthen security measures at Australia's airports as more people start to travel over the festive season.

"The public plays a critical role working with police every day to keep their communities safe. The aviation environment is no different.

"This initiative aims to educate those working in and traveling through major airports about what behaviour is appropriate. The AFP has zero tolerance for any dangerous or antisocial behaviour and works tirelessly to ensure the safety of the traveling community.

"So as you head off on a well-deserved break these holidays – please remember – the silly season does not extend to behaviour in airports.”

CEO and Director of Safety at CASA, Pip Spence

“CASA strongly supports the ‘No More Carry On’ campaign. We are pleased to have been involved in this important safety initiative.

“Passengers need to understand that bad behaviour on an aircraft can put safety at risk. It can disrupt the important safety duties of aircraft crew members, cause distractions during critical phases of flight and jeopardise the safety of other passengers.

“Under our aviation safety regulations substantial penalties can be imposed for offensive or disorderly behaviour on board an aircraft and for failing to comply with any safety-related instructions.”

Rex Chief Operating Officer, Neville Howel

“We are really excited to be back in the air and reconnecting Australians with each other. Whilst the vast majority of travellers do the right thing, we appreciate that navigating the ever-changing rules of travel can at times be challenging and stressful.

“This initiative, in both the code of conduct and the “no more carry on” campaign, is a timely reminder that whether at the supermarket, a restaurant, the airport, or on an aircraft – we can all do our bit by simply showing patience and having respect for both the teams looking after us and for each other.”

Virgin Australia’s Chief Operations Officer, Stuart Aggs

“Those on the frontline are doing everything they can to safely welcome passengers back to our skies, and this campaign is about reminding people of that.

“Overwhelmingly, we see people doing the right thing, and that’s fantastic and very appreciated.

“This will be a very busy time for crew and passengers alike, and mutual respect, and a reciprocation of the patience and understanding demonstrated by our teams, will go a long way in ensuring everyone has the smoothest and safest return to flying that they can.”





Unruly behaviour

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 – Reg 91.525 – Offensive or disorderly behaviour


Up to 50 penalty units for each offence. A penalty unit is currently $222. Therefore up to total $11,100 for each offense.

Infringement Notice penalty $1,110.


Smoking on aircraft

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 – Reg 91.530

Up to 50 penalty units for each offence. A penalty unit is currently $222. Therefore up to total $11,100 for each offense.

Infringement Notice penalty $1,110.

Consumption of alcohol on an aircraft that is not provided by the operator

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 – Reg 91.780

Up to 50 penalty units for each offence. A penalty unit is currently $222. Thereforeup to total $11,100 for each offense.

Infringement Notice penalty $1,110.

Failure to comply with any safety direction or instruction of a crew member

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 – Regs 91.575 and 91.580

Up to 50 penalty units for each offence. A penalty unit is currently $222. Therefore up to total $11,100 for each offense.

Infringement Notice penalty $1,110.

Interference with a crew member or threatening the safety of persons on board an aircraft

Civil Aviation Act 1988 – s. 24

Up to 2 years imprisonment