Woman Fined After Having Cigarettes Delivered via Drone During Hotel Lockdown

by Amy Myers

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” She might not have invented drone delivery, but when an Australian woman needed a cigarette during a lockdown, she came up with a clever way to get it. Unable to run to a gas station or grocery store, the guest ordered her package aerially. Unfortunately, her ingenuity cost her a hefty fine and some disapproving looks in the process.

While staying at the Crown Plaza hotel on the Gold Coast on July 11, the woman and all other guests discovered that the venue was in lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The region experienced a recent surge in coronavirus cases, and so the hotel acted accordingly. Soon, though, the guest’s time in captivity was too much for her to take without a pack of smokes. So, thinking outside the hotel room, she employed a drone owner to deliver them to her balcony.

She would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that meddling hotel employee. But, a drone delivering cigarettes isn’t all that inconspicuous, either. So, when the staff member saw the sneaky exchange, he/she alerted the police. And after a thorough investigation of the matter, the smoking guest received a $1,300 fine for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

According to local news channel 9 News, her co-conspirator behind the drone could also face charges from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for violating safe flying regulations. Although, he and his aerial companion probably fled the scene after the hotel staff discovered them.

We reached out to the drone for comment but haven’t received a response.

Drones Also Serve Helpful Purpose For Fight Against COVID-19

When they’re not delivering nicotine to cooped-up hotel guests, drones actually fulfill an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Across the Indian Ocean from Australia, drones are bringing vaccines to communities in Ghana at a faster rate. The aerial-centered company, Zipline, is responsible for delivering the COVID-19 vaccinations to the country. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Zipline has been providing medicine to African countries since 2016. Within just two days of the drones deliveries, Ghana received almost 11,000 doses of the vaccinations.

The CEO of Zipline, Keller Rinaudo, commented on how the medical world, like many industries, is quickly becoming more mobilized.

A lot of the most innovative hospital systems are realizing that the future of health care is decentralized to a certain degree,” said Rinaudo. “Patients are beginning to act more like consumers. They want convenience, and they want [health care] to come to their home if at all possible.”

Because of the drone’s versatility, we’re seeing them more than ever in a variety of industries. From top-notch photography to medical resources and, yes, even delivering gas station amenities, they’re becoming an essential part of everyday life.