Plus sized woman who bought two seats on plane reduced to tears over ‘rude’ airline staff
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@amplefolk
A plus sized woman has spoken out after going through a 'horrific experience' with aircraft staff prior to her flight.
On her flight from Sydney to Avalon Airport, Melbourne on Saturday, 13 May, Holly Richards booked two seats on account of being plus sized and wanting to 'avoid any uncomfortable looks or comments from the person sitting next to [her] about encroaching on their space'.
However, before she even got on the plane, Holly - who runs inclusive plus size brand AmpleFolk - ran into problems.
Taking to Instagram, Holly explained she booked two seats over the phone prior to arriving at the airport on account of her being an Australian size 28-30 and was told to go straight to the counter at the start of her trip.
At Avalon, Holly followed the instructions, arrived at the gate, sat down and waited for boarding.
However, she was unaware she was about to go through a 'horrific experience'.
As a frequent Jetstar flyer, Holly expected to have her carry on bags weighed and so had purchased 'an extra 7kg carry on to avoid extra charges'.
"I had my handbag, a small suitcase and also my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea which I knew from previous experience is considered a medical device and therefore is not included in carry on baggage allowance," she noted.
However, two women from the airline staff 'were incredibly rude from the offset' as they came to check Holly's luggage 'as if they were expecting a fight to ensue'.
Holly's bags were weighed and she was reportedly told one was 3kg over the limit, as well as that she should only have two rather than three bags with her, despite what she knew about her CPAP not being included as a medical device.
The businesswoman eventually 'very reluctantly' told the staff she'd purchased an extra seat.
"So surely less than 2kg over is ok seeing as technically that extra seat comes with another 7kg of carry on luggage allowance," she explained.
"She tells me that’s not the case and that I need to check the bag," Holly continues. "I tell her she’s being very rude and unreasonable and ask to speak to a manager.
"She tells me I’m being rude and that the manager will just tell me the same thing but eventually leaves to get the manager. I immediately burst into tears."
The manager came a few minutes later, telling Holly she needed to 'check a bag and pay for the extra weight allowance' but it's fine for her to take the CPAP on board.
"No apology for her telling me incorrect information about the CPAP being considered a third piece of luggage," Holly added.
Despite being 'embarrassed to be mentioning it out loud in the crowded gate', Holly noted the extra seat she bought to the manager and the situation seemed to be resolved.
However, later in the queue, Holly alleges she was targeted by the manager who 'reprimand[ed]' her for 'confus[ing] the system' by booking an extra seat and checking in online - despite Holly following the airline's instructions - leading her to 'start crying and step out of line'.
Holly's post concludes: "I was forced to wait in line and take my seat while very obviously crying.
"It's unbelievably terrifying being a larger person in this world at the absolute best of time. I actively avoid being out in public in situations where my body is going to be an inconvenience or cause for any comment at all.
"[...] Even though I had taken every single measure I could to conform, i was met repeatedly with bad faith, rudeness and disdain. [...] I was not treated like a human being."
A spokesperson from Jetstar told UNILAD: "We’re really sorry to hear about Ms Richard’s recent experience and appreciate it would have been an upsetting situation. We pride ourselves on providing great customer service and treating everyone with respect and we’re looking into what happened and how we can do better.
"Our customer team has also reached out to Ms Richards to apologise."