Flight Crew to Passengers: Flush Your Drugs!
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Flight Crew to Passengers: Flush Your Drugs!


You’re fidgeting in your seat. Your watch or phone insists that an hour has passed since you miraculously cleared security, but every minute you’re not yet back in the privacy of your destination crawls by at a grueling pace. At first you’re not listening to the flight crew droning on about arrival gates and electronic devices—not until you pick up the phrase “sniffer dogs.”

Never Ignore a Flight Attendant Announcement Again

“We have been told there are sniffer dogs and quarantine officers waiting in the domestic terminal,” the voice over the speaker is saying. “If you need to dispose of anything you shouldn’t have, we suggest you flush it now.”

Your racing heart drops through your stomach and keeps plunging for 30,000 feet. They’re onto you. If you so much as glance towards the lavatory you’re doomed. Around you, you hear the creaking of seat cushions, the shuffling of sandals, the mumbled “’scuse me”s from window-sitters squeezing past disapproving aisle patrons. There’s a line outside the bathroom already, a twitchy, hands-stuffed-in-pockets kind of line. Paralyzed with indecision, thinking about dogs, you’re thinking maybe you should trust the heads up from the angels in the flight deck after all.

Keeping Drugs on the Down Low, Down Under

Such was the scene aboard one Australian Jetstar flight last weekend. The plane was coming into Sydney from Gold Coast, where many of its passengers had spent three days reveling at the Splendour in the Grass music festival, rocking out to Foster the People, Interpol and Lily Allen. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that some of that grass and splendor would have made its way aboard the airliner.

It’s routine for Australian flight crews to play a pre-recorded announcement about quarantine when crossing state and territory borders. But they also have the option to do a live announcement, and this cheeky crew member took the opportunity go off script.

“I was shocked,” a presumably non-drug-packing passenger told The Daily Telegraph. “Why would you tip people off about this? If they have got something illegal, let them get caught. I obviously couldn’t tell if people were flushing things, but several of the people who suddenly got up to queue for the toilet had things clenched in their hand.’’

You Might As Well Handcuff Yourself

Guys, sneaking drugs onto planes is so, so stupid. Believe me, I understand the temptation, especially on longer journeys. A cokehead facing six hours in the air (not to mention a vacation) without blow is a person who is seriously regretting her drug of so-called-choice and probably agonizing over whether an Ambien or a hollowed-out tampon is her get-out-of-hell-free card. But most drugs last longer than coke, and Gold Coast to Sydney is a mere 90-minute jaunt—no picnic for someone who’s used to refueling on the 30, sure, but probably not worth the lifetime fallout from getting caught red-handed at the terminal. Also, surely an addict could score in Sydney? But that’s the thing about addiction. The whole concept of “worth it” changes.

Unsurprisingly, the bearer of this wink-wink-nudge-nudge message has gotten some flak. “The crew member’s words were poorly chosen and are plainly at odds with the professional standards we’d ­expect from our team,” a Jetstar spokesperson said. “We’re addressing the matter with the cabin crew member involved.”

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About Author

Erica Larsen AKA Eren Harris blogs at Whitney Calls and Clean Bright Day. Their writing has also been published on Salon, Selfish, Violet Rising and YourTango. They live in Los Angeles with their husband and their enormous cat.