Budget airline Jetstar removed an elderly woman passenger from one of its aircraft moments before take off yesterday, citing safety concerns after the woman refused to complain about her seat allocation.
“It was the last straw frankly,” Jetstar spokesperson Javier Kaikeneidet told WWNews. “We’d given her every opportunity to whinge and moan and she wouldn’t. We couldn’t risk a lack of incident mid-air so we had to bump her off. Off the plane that is – we don’t have systems in place for the other.”
The woman, who declined to be named, said she had been on her way to visit her sister in Gore, when things failed to go wrong. “At check-in they made me pay extra for my luggage,” the woman said. “But I was okay with that because that’s what it had said on the website. And then the flight was delayed for three hours – luckily I’d brought a book and some healthy snacks.”
The change in departure gate meant a twenty-minute walk across the tarmac in the rain, the woman said. “But I’d packed a coat, bought with the money I saved by not flying Air New Zealand or Emirates, so that really wasn’t an issue.”
Once on the plane, the woman noticed the situation had stayed about the same as what she’d been expecting. “I got a small seat with no view, crammed in between fat people who hadn’t washed for months,” she said. “If I was really bothered about it, I suppose I could have paid extra to sit up the front, but I think it’s best those seats stay empty as it gives the fat, smelly people something to talk about.”
It was only when a flight attendant pointed out her tray table was broken that the problems started, according to the woman. “I told him that was fine because it was just a short flight and I didn’t feel the need to stuff my face with cheese and crackers, or drink lukewarm coffee-like beverage. And then they escorted me off the plane and took me to the bus stop.”
Jetstar has refunded the woman’s ticket cost and banned her from flying for twelve months. “We have to maintain standards,” Mr Kaikeneidet. “If passengers aren’t prepared to moan and whinge about not getting the same level of service they could get on other airlines if they paid more, we’ll sell their seats to someone who will. It’s that simple.”
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