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Qantas: Australian Politician Jacquie Lambie banned after incident at Chariman’s Lounge [UPDATED]

Qantas: Australian Politician Jacquie Lambie banned after incident at Chariman’s Lounge [UPDATED]

Australian politicians, senior public servants and titans of industry are members of the invitation-only Qantas Chairman’s Lounge where they can wait in quiet luxury for their flights in most Australian Capital cities.

It’s one of the most exclusive clubs, and its very rare to hear anything about activities within the lounge. That’s the whole point of privacy, isn’t it?


There have been rumours that independent Senator for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie had some kind of tussle with Qantas staff recently. Everyone has been tight-lipped about whatever the incident was until today when Lambie talked about it on a TV breakfast show.

What happened

Apparently, Lambie lost her temper with Melbourne Qantas Chairman’s Club staff back in March. She was having a bad day, including backing into someone’s car, working long hours in Canberra, and being on pain medication for a flare-up of a back injury she suffered while in the army.

Anyway, she let both barrels blaze when denied entry to the Melbourne Chairman’s lounge. Initially, we didna know why she was denied entry, but we now know it was due to a history of previously questionable behaviour. Previous reports also recorded that it was the result of verbal abuse to the staff, a homophobic slur to Alan Joyce [now denied by both Lambie and Qantas] the out gay CEO of Qantas, and some kind of reference to ‘pussy power’.

…and for those who doubt her, she then went out and got evidence:


The sentence is a 6-month suspension from Qantas – which presumably covers Jetstar as well. Not only is she excluded from entry to the Chairman’s Lounge, but also to flights. So it looks like suspension from every service. Her only option will be to use Virgin Australia services, which currently doesn’t run their invitation-only ‘The Club’ at the moment. Although in Melbourne, you can get into the space it occupied if you have sufficient Status with Virgin.

‘Copping it’

In the Australian vernacular, Lambie is quite willing to cop this punishment. The SMH is reporting her saying:

“I’ll take whatever punishment Qantas throws at me. I’ve done the crime and I’ll do the time, because that’s what I deserve.”

two men sitting in chairs
From the Gay Mafia episode

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

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