A passenger on a Qantas airlines flight claims that a crew member fat-shamed him into moving seats.
Darren Beales was flying from Melbourne to Bristol and booked a seat in the emergency exit row. When he got on the plane, however, a flight attendant reportedly told him that couldn’t sit there due to “air regulations.”
According to Beales, he selected the seat because it provided extra leg room, News.com.au reports. He claims that the flight attendant told him that, due to regulations, couldn’t sit “in an exit seat, if you’re disabled or, you know — or if you require an extended seatbelt.”
He also claims that, despite being able to fit into the seat just fine, she told him to purchase a second seat the next time he flies.
“It was fat-shaming. She was rude,” he said, News.com.au reports. “It made me feel really belittled. I could have helped in the emergency.”
In response to a question about the incident, a spokesperson for Qantas told Fox News that Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority "provides guidance to airlines on the criteria for appropriate passengers" that are seated in exit rows.
"Customers seated in an exit row may be called upon to assist crew members in the event of an emergency," the statement continued. "If passengers are unable to meet these criteria, airlines including Qantas will ask passengers to change seats. Customers who purchase an exit row seat are told they must satisfy the requirements during the booking process.”
The Qantas website does stipulate that, in order to book an exit row seat, you must “not require the use of an extension seat belt.”