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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Scottish court finds woman guilty of indecent behaviour on Qatar Airways flight

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The British woman was charged with verbally attacking cabin crew on board a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Edinburgh on August 8th, 2019.

An intoxicated woman on a Qatar Airways flight to Scotland, who threatened to kill one of the flight attendants, has been found guilty of three charges and been ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid community service for the next 18 months for her unruly behaviour, Edinburgh Live reported on Wednesday.

According to reports, Veronique Morel, a 39-year-old oil and gas expert became drunk on the flight and had a “shocking outburst” when flight attendants woke her up to depart the airplane after it landed.

Morel began demonstrating an abusive attitude towards the Qatar Airways staff and then threatened to kill one of the employees before police officers were called onto the scene to handle the situation.

Morel was taken to a police station where she was charged for her aggressive behaviour and given a court date.

“The accused made her way onto the air bridge and she continued to shout ‘f*** off’ and ‘f*** you’ and then began emptying items from her bag onto the floor,” the court heard.

Morel refused to be represented by a lawyer, and instead told the court that whilst she regrets her behaviour, she actually didn’t have any recollection of it; claiming that her loss of memory was due to her mixing alcohol with medication during the flight. Morel added that her only memory of the incident was waking up at the police station. 

Read also: Qatar ratifies international protocol to deal with unruly airline passengers

“Cabin crew who attended to you on the flight should not be subjected to such behaviour…however I take into account you are a first offender and take into account your remorse. I also take account of the fact that you have lost your employment as a result of these prosecutions,” said Sheriff Adrian Fraser.

Last year, Qatar Airways joined the Montreal Protocol of 2014 [MP14], becoming the sixth country in the MENA region to give formal approval to the treaty. The MP14 gives the country or state of scheduled landing jurisdiction to deal with unruly airline passengers.

Previously, passengers who committed an offence onboard would not be automatically prosecuted and only the authorities in the aircraft’s ‘home country’ would have jurisdiction.

According to The International Air Transport Association [IATA], “unruly and disruptive passenger incidents on board flights include physical assault, harassment, smoking or failing to follow crew instructions”.

Such incidents are taken seriously as they “may compromise flight safety, cause significant delays and operational disruption, and adversely impact the travel experience and work environment for passengers and crew”.

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