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Plus-sized woman says she was reduced to tears by 'incredibly rude' staff as she boarded flight

Claire Reid

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Plus-sized woman says she was reduced to tears by 'incredibly rude' staff as she boarded flight

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@amplefolk

A plus-sized woman says she was left in tears after a run-in with two ‘incredibly rude’ airline staff as she attempted to board her flight.

Holly Richards, who is an Australian size 28-30, purchased two seats ahead of her flight to Avalon Airport, Victoria, at the weekend to ensure her comfort while travelling, and to avoid ‘any uncomfortable looks or comments from the person sitting next to her’.

Holly booked the flights over the phone and was told to check in online prior to flying.

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As well as the seats, Holly, who was flying with Jetstar, booked an extra 7kg of carry-on luggage so she wouldn’t be charged extra when boarding.

In a post on Instagram, she explained: "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."

However, she says when she approached the gate, two ‘incredibly rude’ members of staff told her her bags were 3kg over the allowance.

“I very reluctantly tell her I have actually purchased an extra seat and 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.

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Holly Richards says she was left in tears after being confronted by ‘rude’ staff. Credit: Instagram/@amplefolk
Holly Richards says she was left in tears after being confronted by ‘rude’ staff. Credit: Instagram/@amplefolk

But she said the staff member did not agree with this. She also claims she was told that her CPAP machine was not considered a medical device so it was not exempt from her baggage allowance.

At this point, Holly had burst into tears and the member of staff went off to get their manager.

After informing the manager of the situation, Holly was told she was fine to board, but says she was told she had ‘confused the system’ by checking in online and was warned to ‘not book an extra seat again’.

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When Holly told the manager that she had just followed the instructions she had been given, the manager 'apologised profusely'.

Holly is urging the airline to rethink their policies for plus-sized customers. Credit: Instagram/@amplefolk
Holly is urging the airline to rethink their policies for plus-sized customers. Credit: Instagram/@amplefolk

In a statement, Jetstar told news.com.au: “We’re really sorry to hear about Ms Richards’ 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.

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"Our customer team is also reaching out to Ms Richards to apologise.”

Holly is urging airlines to review their policies for plus sized-customers.

Speaking to news.com.au, she said: “There are clearly no policies for catering to the needs of plus-size passengers.

“That means there are no processes set up to easily allow someone to book two seats for themselves whether that’s for personal comfort or to avoid encroaching on the space of others.”

Topics: Life, Australia, Travel

Claire Reid
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