‘Desperate’ plus-sized model accuses Qatar Airways of discrimination: ‘They don’t want to board me because I’m fat’

A plus-sized Brazilian model accused Qatar Airways of discriminating against her after she was asked to upgrade her economy seat because of her girth, a story that went viral after Juliana Nehme posted a video from the ticket counter.

The 38-year-old social media influencer claimed that she was informed by an agent at the gate that she would be required to purchase a more costly first-class seat if she wanted to board the plane home to Brazil from Lebanon where she and family members were vacationing.

“I’m here at the Qatar Airways desk, with tickets I bought to go to Doha and from Doha to Brazil,” Nehme began in the video. “And, for no reason, the stewardess from Qatar said I cannot board because I am too fat, and according to her, I have no right to have this plane ticket.”

(Video: The Daily Mail)

“I paid $1,000 on my plane ticket,” she added. “I’m here with my mum, my sister and my nephew, a total of $4,000 in tickets for her to simply deny the tickets and not let me board the airplane to Doha, because I am fat.”

“Now, what am I going to do?” Nehme asked. “They are denying my right to travel, but I came here by AirFrance and everything went well, I had no problem. And now, they are denying my ticket.”

“They are requiring me to buy an executive ticket to go back to my own country, but I came here with normal seat ticket,” she said.

“I am desperate, they don’t want to board me, because I’m fat,” she added, explaining that she did not have $3,000 to buy the upgraded ticket.

However, her account was disputed by the Middle East’s only five-star airline as a Qatar Airways representative told the Daily Mail that a family member who Nehme was traveling with did not produce the required proof of a COVID PRC test to board the plane and that the model was “extremely rude and aggressive to check-in staff.”

“As a result, airport security was requested to intervene as staff and passengers were extremely concerned with her behaviour,” the spokesperson said.

According to the Daily Mail, “Outlining its policy, Qatar Airways said any passenger ‘who impedes upon the space of a fellow traveller and cannot secure their seatbelt or lower their armrests may be required to purchase an additional seat both as a safety precaution and for the comfort and safety of all passengers.’ This, the airline said, is in line with industry practice and most other airlines.”

(Image: Screengrab/The Daily Mail)

“Qatar Airways treats all passengers with respect and dignity and in line with industry practices and similar to most airlines, anyone who impedes upon the space of a fellow traveler and cannot secure their seatbelt or lower their armrests may be required to purchase an additional seat both as a safety precaution and for the comfort and safety of all passengers,” Qatar Airways said in a statement. “The passenger in question at Beirut Airport was initially extremely rude and aggressive to check-in staff when one of her traveling party did not produce required PCR documentation for entry to Brazil.”

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