A passenger whose family was denied boarding on a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Gold Coast is seeking over USD $7,000 in compensation. Vala Setareh says that the airline racially discriminated against his relatives on a service last spring. The airline said that the group ignored boarding instructions.
A Jetstar passenger is seeking AUD $10,000 (USD $7,034) in compensation from the carrier amid claims that he and his family were not allowed to board a flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast earlier this year, Daily Mail Australia reports. The incident, which occurred on March 18th, involved Vala Setareh and his wife, Dr. Dona Hooshmand, as well as their children and a grandparent.
According to the outlet, Setareh states that an argument began when staff members refused to offer the family assistance upon attempting to board. He has also stated that the group had their boarding passes taken away and were told to move aside while other travelers were allowed to get on the flight.
While their boarding documents were eventually given back to them, the family were informed that they still would not be able to get on the flight.
The family protested Jetstar’s stance, but the carrier did not relent and summoned local police. Eventually, the group was forced to book their return flights with Virgin Australia.
Setareh complained to Jetstar after the incident and, in response, the carrier offered a refund of AUD $444.49 (USD $312.70). It also covered the difference of AUD $295.51 (USD $207.88) between the group’s original tickets and those booked via Virgin. In a further move, Jetstar also gave the family a voucher worth AUD $500 (USD $351) and offered an apology for the group’s “negative experience.”
However, Setareh refused Jetstar’s offer.
In a letter to CEO Gareth Evans – an extract of which has been quoted by the outlet–Setareh said, “It is mind boggling that your organization tolerates its staff publicly humiliating its customers, without any consequences for the persons responsible. The managing crew member completely overreacted and it can only be concluded that her actions were racially motivated.”
However, a spokesperson for Jetstar told the outlet, “The customers repeatedly refused to follow the instructions and were abusive towards our cabin crew when boarding, which was the reason why they were denied travel. We explained this to the customers at the time and also in our follow up discussions with them.”
“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we have zero tolerance for anti-social behavior at airports and on our aircraft,” they added.
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