Friday, February 16, 2018

Canadian traveller accuses Jetstar employee of racism

A Canadian traveller has accused a Jetstar employee of racism following an alleged altercation at Melbourne International Airport over overweight baggage fees, an incident the airline disputes took place.

Ryan Chand, of Surrey in British Columbia, claims the female employee uttered a racist slur and “accosted” his wife during a conversation inside the terminal on the evening of 4 February.

In a post to Jetstar’s Facebook page, Mr Chand said the couple arrived at Melbourne International Airport on their way to Brisbane at which time they shared with the Jetstar worker their difficulties buying extra baggage allowance through the carrier’s app.

“She did not care to listen. As we were adjusting our overweight luggage to fit what was allowed by Jetstar, she accosted my wife to weigh her purse,” he wrote.

“This was the first time we'd be harassed by a Jetstar employee to weigh a personal item. We'd only had good interactions with other employees at Auckland and Queenstown up to this point.”
Mr Chand then claimed when he said they had not experienced such an issue with Jetstar check-ins on their trip the Jetstar staffer told them: “Well this is Melbourne, not India”.
“I was shocked about what she had just said to me. Thankfully it was just out of earshot of my wife, who was already stressed about the luggage issues,” he said.

“This was clear racism towards my wife and I. We live in 2018, and this sort of behaviour is NOT OK. I chose not to confront her at the time, as I did not want to escalate the issue when we had a flight to shortly catch. I waited until our itinerary was complete with Jetstar as I did not want to end up on a no-fly/blacklist for our flight to Sydney either.”
When contacted for comment over the allegations, a Jetstar spokesperson said: “The team member involved disputes that there was any discriminatory comments made.”
The spokesperson added: “We do not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour.”
Mr Chand said he is filing an official complaint against the female employee and is also demanding to be reimbursed the $57 he was forced to pay for extra baggage because of “your faulty app”
He believes the comment was in “direct reference” to his and his wife’s South Indian background.
16/02/18 Kate Kachor/9news