A woman has claimed an airline denied her the right to fly because she was ‘too fat’.
Juliana Nehme, 38, a plus-size influencer and model from Brazil, has accused Middle Eastern airline Qatar Airways of discriminating against her because of her height.
His video of the alleged incident has since gone viral.
She explained that she, her mother, her sister and her nephew were on vacation in Lebanon and on their way back to Brazil, via Doha, when a member of staff told her that she would have to buy a first seat. more expensive class if she wanted to board the flight.
However, the airline said one of Juliana’s family members failed to produce the Covid-19 PRC test documentation required to board the flight, the Daily Mail reported.
“The passenger in question at Beirut airport was initially extremely rude and aggressive towards the check-in staff when one of her travelers failed to produce the PCR documents required to enter Brazil,” said a Qatar Airways spokesperson to the publication.
“As a result, airport security was asked to intervene as staff and passengers were extremely concerned about his behaviour.”
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 problems boarding a flight. Air France to Lebanon where she and her family were 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 member of staff was finishing our check in and told him that i was not welcome on board because i am fat.
Juliana said her family spent a total of $4,000 (USD) on economy class seats – including her $947 ticket, “only to be denied boarding”.
Juliana was reportedly told she would have to pay more for a first class ticket if she wanted to fly with the airline as the seats are bigger.
“An airline from Qatar (employee) called my mother while the lady was finishing our check-in and told her that I was not welcome on board as I am fat and they were not going to accommodate me on the flight !” she says.
Outlining its policy, Qatar Airways said any passenger “who obstructs a fellow traveler’s space and cannot fasten their seatbelt or lower their armrests may be required to purchase an additional seat at a time as a measure safety and for the comfort and safety of all passengers.” Daily Mail reported.
This, the airline said, was in line with industry practice and most other airlines.
“Now what am I going to do?” They refuse me the right to travel, but I came here by Air France and everything went well, I had no problems. And now they refuse my ticket,” said the frustrated tourist at Beirut International Airport – Rafic Hariri.
“They ask me to buy an executive ticket to go back to my own country, but I came here with a normal seat ticket.”
“I’m desperate, they don’t want to take me on because I’m fat. I need to buy a business ticket, which costs $2029, I don’t have that money. I don’t know what to do, there are only 30 minutes left before the plane takes off. They say I can’t get on the plane because I’m fat. I do not know what to do.
In her post, Juliana said she spent almost two hours begging the airline to board the flight and go home.
“My mother tried everything [too]. I was threatened trying to record what they were doing,” she said.
She ended up staying at the airport in Beirut, Lebanon, with her mother, while her sister and nephew boarded the Qatar Airlines flight to Doha, Qatar.
“I’m spending money on a hotel and a taxi that I didn’t need!” I can’t afford to hang around any longer. And they said I had to pay another rate for my mom and upgrade mine to executive. But no one wanted to tell me! I was extremely humiliated in front of everyone at the airport! All because I’m FAT!
At the time of the report, Juliana was still in Lebanon.
A Qatar Airways spokesperson told the Daily Mail “the passenger was re-booked on a flight tonight [November 24] from Lebanon”.
Airline obesity policies differ in degree and detail, but essentially decree that if you don’t fit in a seat with an extending seat belt and the armrests down, you will be charged for two seats or removed. 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 advance purchase of a second seat if the flight is not full on the day.
Meanwhile, the Australian Government’s Institute of Health and Welfare states that 67% of Australian adults are overweight or obese.