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Published on Wednesday, August 4, 2021

JAL gets tough with unruly Olympic athletes

Japan Airlines is demanding Australian Olympic athletes returning home from the Games are 'chaperoned' following an alcohol-fuelled 'chaotic' flight.

Aussie rugby and football teams caused chaos on a flight from Tokyo and the Australian Olympic Committee confirmed it has opened an investigation.

JAL requested that a chaperone supervise athletes on each flight to act as a middleman between airline crew and athletes.

"We will ask this person to assist the crew in maintaining discipline in the cabin," the airline said.

The situation on the flight was described as very raucous, and any further 'undesirable behaviour' would lead to the Australian Federal Police being alerted to deal with it on arrival.

JAL reiterated the need to 'behave on board in line with normal societal expectations' and 'show respect to crew and other passengers.'

"Being drunk affects other passengers and interferes with the crew's ability to do their job," the airline said.

"Passengers must wear masks at all times when not eating/drinking. This is a requirement of JAL and the Australian government."

Crew will not hesitate to refuse alcohol to athletes who appeared drunk, JAL said.

It is an unprecedented display of public criticism by JAL.

 "It's extremely disappointing but both rugby and football have told me that such behaviour is certainly not acceptable within their sports and have sincerely apologised to the Australian Olympic Team," AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said.

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