A woman has claimed an airline denied her the right to fly because she was “too fat”.
Juliana Nehme, 38, an influencer and plus-size model from Brazil, accused Middle Eastern airline Qatar Airways of discriminating against her because of her height.
Her video of the alleged incident has since gone viral.
In it, she explained that she, her mother, sister and nephew were on holiday in Lebanon and on their way home to Brazil via Doha when a staff member told her she would have to buy a more expensive first-class seat if she wanted to get in board the flight.
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However, the airline said one of Juliana’s family members failed to provide the required Covid-19 PRC testing documentation to board the flight.
“The passenger in question at Beirut Airport was initially extremely rude and aggressive towards the check-in staff when one of her fellow passengers failed to present the required PCR documents to enter Brazil,” a Qatar Airways spokesman told news.com. ouch
“As a result, airport security was called upon to intervene as staff and passengers were extremely concerned about their behavior.”
In her clip, which has garnered more than 50,000 “likes” and thousands of comments since she shared it on Thursday, Juliana explained that she had no trouble boarding an Air France flight to Lebanon, where she and her family went on vacation.
In Portuguese, she said: “I bought a return ticket to Brazil via Qatar and when I arrived at check-in time, a flight attendant from Qatar called my mother while another employee was completing our check-in and told her that I wasn’t ready for boarding welcome because I’m fat.”
Juliana said her family spent a total of A$6,000 on economy seats – including their $1,400 ticket “only to have them denied boarding”.
Juliana was reportedly told she would have to pay an additional A$4400 for a first class ticket if she wanted to fly on the airline as the seats are larger.
“An airline (employee) from Qatar called my mother while the lady was finishing our check-in and told her I’m not allowed to board because I’m fat and they wouldn’t welcome me on the flight!” She said.
Outlining its policy, Qatar Airways said that any passenger “who interferes with a fellow passenger’s seat and is unable to fasten their seat belt or lower their armrests may be required to purchase an additional seat, both as a safety precaution and for convenience and.” the safety of all passengers”.
This, the airline said, is in line with industry practice and most other airlines.
“Well, what should I do? They deny me the right to travel, but I came here with AirFrance and everything went well, I had no problem. And now they are refusing my ticket,” said the frustrated tourist at Beirut – Rafic Hariri International Airport.
“They require me to buy an executive ticket to return to my own country, but I came here on a regular seat ticket.”
“I’m desperate, they don’t want to board me because I’m fat. I need to buy a business ticket that costs $3000, I don’t have that money. I don’t know what to do, there are only 30 minutes left until the plane takes off. They say I have no right to get on the plane because I’m fat. I do not know what to do.”
In her post, Juliana said she spent nearly two hours asking the airline to board the plane and travel home.
“My mother tried everything [too]. I was threatened when I tried to record what they were doing,” she claimed.
She ended up staying with her mother at Beirut airport, Lebanon while her sister and nephew caught the Qatar Airlines flight to Doha, Qatar.
“I spend money on hotels and taxis that I don’t need! I can’t afford to hang around any longer. And they said I have to pay another rate for my mom and upgrade mine to Executive. But nobody wanted to tell me! I was extremely humiliated in front of all the people at the airport! All because I’m FAT!”
At the time of reporting, Juliana was still in Lebanon.
A Qatar Airways spokesman said: “The passenger has been rebooked on a flight tonight [November 24] of Lebanon”.
Airlines’ obesity policies vary in degree and detail, but the bottom line is that if you can’t fit in a seat with the seatbelt extended and the armrests down, you’ll be charged for two seats or kicked out of the plane, according to Smarter Travel.
Some airlines may do their best to accommodate obese passengers by offering a second seat free of charge or refunding the pre-purchased second seat if the flight is not fully booked that day.
Meanwhile, the government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says 67 percent of Australian adults are overweight (36 percent) or obese (31 percent).
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