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Etihad caution

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codash1099

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Tuesday June 5, 10:14 AM Aussie men to be booted out of UAE

Three Australian businessmen will be booted out of the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday after a nightmare six-week stay which led to their trial on sexual harassment and intoxication charges.
Lawyer Ross Hill rejected allegations that the three men had been drunk and disorderly during their flight into the country or that they sexually harassed a flight attendant.

They had been tested for alcohol consumption and readings were negative, he said.
But he did admit there had been an argument aboard the Etihad Airlines flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on April 27.
Businessmen Jeremy Snaith and William Sargent have been in custody near Abu Dhabi, facing drug, sexual harassment and intoxication charges.
The third Australian, David Evans, was charged with sexual harassment, indecent exposure and intoxication but was released on bail.
The three first-class passengers were arrested after getting off the Etihad flight from Sydney.
Snaith on Monday was handed a six-month suspended sentence, while Evans received a one-year suspended sentence.
Sargent was acquitted of all charges.
Mr Hill said they were to be deported.
"They should be out of the country within 24 hours. We are very hopeful that is the timeframe, but things never quite work as you expect in these countries. They are certainly free to go," Mr Hill told ABC Radio.
Mr Hill said a row between the men and staff broke out after a series of electrical and mechanical problems.
He said the air conditioning wasn't working properly in the first class cabin and the men were told they couldn't use their laptops.
"The service was bad, there was not enough food and there were problems with their refrigeration," he said.
"That culminated in a rather extensive argument between several passengers and the cabin staff.
Mr Hill said the claim of sexual harassment against Evans related to him touching the arm of an attendant.
He said Snaith also was fined an unspecified sum for drinking some warm champagne served by the airline.
"Everyone be warned - don't fly Etihad unless you have a permit to drink alcohol, because if you don't and you have cross words with somebody you could end up in exactly the same position," he said.
"There was no alcohol factor involved. There was a whole lot of personality factors involved. They are the sort of issues we will be addressing, backed by irrefutable evidence, when we are out of here."
 

browski

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These guys got off lightly. Imagine if they had an argument on a US airline!
 
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bravoecho1

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I've flown Etihad over 10 times in the past 24 months and have had alcoholic drinks everytime. I think there is more to this story then the lawyer is saying (which is what you would expect).
 

Mal

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There is something very very weird about this entire story.

I know a lot of stories have a "He said, She said" type of situation, but this case is so "out there"...
 

d15.in.oz

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I think these sorts of problems come from convincing on-board staff their primary role is security and not customer service.

Taking bets on Etihad having to "scale down operations" to Australia, depending on if the guys each sign separate media deals with three different outlets, in which case this story will take off - odds on.

(Maybe this is why the Etihad route appeared on the QF magazine map, without any announcement of a code share agreement…QF management pulled the announcements in time, but the print run had already started… I am a cynic, I know. LOL)
 

thadocta

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Actually, their primary role is safety, customer service is an additional role - that is why you still have cabin staff on flights where there is NO cabin service, and why the number of cabin crew is mandated by law based on the number of passengers.

Dave
 

trooper

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Not sure how it would apply on an aircraft... but expats I met in Dubai.. (I think... probably not Muscat or Bahrain... I was drinking at the time....???) said they had to have a "Home Liquour license" or some such thing to be allowed to store/consume alcohol at home...

I was told the fee was salary based and could be very expensive...

Course.. they could have been pulling my leg.......:D

And I REALLY don't see how such "permits" could be applied to travellers...

I am too cynical I know .. but like some others here I will take the "lads" (and their lawyers) statements with as large a grain of salt as I will take the airlines claims.... we may well never find out what really happened....
 

Happy Dude

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Yes I've heard about these "licences" pertaining to expats in places like Saudi Arabia. Perhaps I should have qualified my question with a "and how is it applied to inbound international travellers".

Were these chaps made aware of the fact that they needed a "permit to drink alcohol" prior to boarding in Sydney, and that by accepting the airlines offer of warm champagne they might be charged with drug/alcohol offences upon landing in UAE (where alcohol is freely available in hotels)? Seems a bit irresponsible of the airline to offer it up then.

Like others here have noted, seems as though there are a few details missing from this saga....
 

garyjohn951

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In Dubai it is permit to purchase. You cannot buy without it. Therefore if you are living there and want a drink at home, you need one.
 

Happy Dude

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"In Dubai it is permit to purchase. You cannot buy without it. Therefore if you are living there and want a drink at home, you need one."

Yes, but that has nothing to do with the story.

Unless, if you live in the UAE, you're not allowed to drink the airline-offered alcohol on an inbound international flight unless you have a permit to purchase alcohol in the UAE?

You can see how I'm confused by this "permit" that the lawyer warns us to get before flying Etihad and having cross words with the staff.

A more salicious account appeared in the Age online today:

Australians deported from UAE - Travel - theage.com.au

Interesting to note that the two convicted of sexual harassment and assault charges used Etihad to get out of UAE (to BKK). What's a chap got to do to get barred from an airline?
 

simongr

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Happy Dude said:
"In Dubai it is permit to purchase. You cannot buy without it. Therefore if you are living there and want a drink at home, you need one."

Yes, but that has nothing to do with the story.

Unless, if you live in the UAE, you're not allowed to drink the airline-offered alcohol on an inbound international flight unless you have a permit to purchase alcohol in the UAE?
Just for clarity if you are not a resident of UAE you dont need a permit to drink onboard alcomohol?

How on earth can an airline police that? Stickers on the seat backs? Branding the PAX?

EDIT

Just read the Age article - so I guess their story is that because it was so hot - they had to take their clothes off.... Interesting that the drugs test results werent mentioned on the news...
 

bravoecho1

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Just to clarify, you don't have to get a permit to drink on their flights (I certainly wasn't asked on any of my flights). It is no different than flying on Emirates.

The other permits everyone is referring to is for expatriate residents to buy alcohol from bottle shops (inside they are no different to Oz bottleshops but you would never know what it is from the outside). It is based on a monthly limit but there are ways and means around exceeding your limit. Half the time they don't even stamp your purchases.

Anyone can walk into a bar and buy alcohol its only if you wanted to drink at home that you need a license.

There are a number of different rules over there like the one where a male and female can't live together if they're not married. I know of a number of people who have come close to being caught.
 

browski

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Happy Dude said:
Yes I've heard about these "licences" pertaining to expats in places like Saudi Arabia. ....
Just want to correct this. There are no liquor licences nor liquor for sale legally) anywhere in Saudi or Kuwait.
 

Happy Dude

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bravoecho1 said:
Just to clarify, you don't have to get a permit to drink on their flights (I certainly wasn't asked on any of my flights). It is no different than flying on Emirates.

The other permits everyone is referring to is for expatriate residents to buy alcohol from bottle shops (inside they are no different to Oz bottleshops but you would never know what it is from the outside). It is based on a monthly limit but there are ways and means around exceeding your limit. Half the time they don't even stamp your purchases.

Anyone can walk into a bar and buy alcohol its only if you wanted to drink at home that you need a license.

There are a number of different rules over there like the one where a male and female can't live together if they're not married. I know of a number of people who have come close to being caught.
All well and good, but what is the lawyer banging on about? These permits have nothing to do with drinking on aircraft.
 

Happy Dude

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browski said:
Just want to correct this. There are no liquor licences nor liquor for sale legally) anywhere in Saudi or Kuwait.
Yes, but I was hoping that the quotation marks would indicate that I was speaking colloquially.

Alcohol is easy enough to procure if you pay for the privilege through the right channels.
 

d15.in.oz

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Happy Dude said:
Alcohol is easy enough to procure if you pay for the privilege through the right channels.
OMG...that sounds so like America, well ancient America...how many centuries ago was prohibition?!?!


Can’t you tell, I am a fan of ORD, now that’s a North American city worth visiting!
 

clifford

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browski said:
Just want to correct this. There are no liquor licences nor liquor for sale legally) anywhere in Saudi or Kuwait.
Yes Browski, I second that. If you are caught with any kind of liquor whatsoever in Saudi, you will be subject to severe physical punishment.

How do I know that? I was a DFAT officer there.

Those posters who haven't been to Saudi wouldn't understand what I am talking about. Trust me.
 

tuapekastar

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I recall a conversation with a work colleague quite a few years ago, who had worked in Saudi Arabia. IIRC he indicated they were able to drink in their "foreigners' compounds" (legally or illegally, and if illegally, how they obtained it I don't know) but at one point they were transporting a large amount of booze in a car boot from one location to another (outside the compound), and were absolutely s****ing themselves because a car containing religious police was following them. Fortunately for them they did not get pulled over.

I have no personal experience of Saudi, just relating a story told to me as genuine (be it factual or a bit of bulldust).
 

drron

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The alcohol and passengers behaviour is not the whole story here.Has anyone seen the Etihad spokesman deny the claims that their were major problems on the flight such as airconditioning not working,F passengers being unable to use their computers,warm champagne,staff not responding to requests etc.All I have seen was the response that no matter what happened the passengers behaviour was not acceptable.
As far as I am concerned if all these problems did occur in F then that is reason enough to avoid Etihad.
 
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