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A big-boned Brazilian plus-size model says Qatar Airlines discriminated against her last week when it told her she was “too fat” for economy class and ordered her to buy a jumbo-size first-class seat.
In a rather ballsy move, Juliana Nehme, 38, fired up social media to take multiple shots at the state-owned airline. She claims a gate agent advised her that a first-class ticket would be needed to board because she was just too damn big for a basic economy seat for a flight from Lebanon, via Doha, Qatar, and then onto Brazil.
Nehme told her social media audience that there were no issues flying from Brazil to Lebanon on Air France. “I bought a return ticket to Brazil through Qatar and arriving at the time to check in, a Qatar flight attendant called my mother while another staffer was finishing our check in and told her I wasn’t welcome to board because I’m fat.”
Eh, maybe there were some things lost in translation. Perhaps the woman called you big-boned. Let’s calm down, Juliana.
Was the Brazilian plus-size model too fat for a Qatar Airlines flight?
“Recline and relax in one of the widest seats in the industry, designed to bring you the ultimate in space and comfort,” Qatar Airlines explains to customers via its website.
A quick Google search reveals that a typical Qatar Airlines economy seat on Airbus or Boeing planes from the company’s fleet will have a seat width between 17 1/2 inches and nearly 19 inches.
Things really escalate in first class where the seat width goes up to 22-23 inches:
The Qatar Airlines seat policy for the big-boned community clearly states that any passenger “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,” the Daily Mail reported.
It’s basic airline stuff these days, but Juliana wouldn’t admit that she’s just massive and should be paying for the first-class seat.
“Now, what am I going to do? 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,” the furious plus-plus-sized Instagram model said on a social media video.
“They are requiring me to buy an executive ticket to go back to my own country, but I came here with normal seat ticket.”
“I am desperate, they don’t want to board me, because I’m fat. I need to buy a business ticket, which is $2,029, I don’t have this money. I don’t know what to do, there is only 30 minutes until the airplane takes off. They are saying I have no right to board in the airplane, because I’m fat. I don’t know what to do.”
Juliana ended up spending the night in Beirut, Lebanon, and was eventually booked on a flight home. It’s unclear whether Qatar Airlines bent a knee and allowed her into economy class or whether they moved people around so she could fit into an economy seat without bothering the medium-boned humans.
“I was extremely humiliated in front of all the people at the airport! All because I’m FAT!” the model added.
So you benefit from being a fat, or plus-plus-sized model, but then when an airline says you’re fat, they’re insensitive? This is absolutely mind-boggling stuff, Juliana. You can’t have it both ways, girlfriend.
Either go big or go home — and don’t get on another airplane without a first-class ticket.