‘Too fat to fly’: Furious plus-size model says she was stopped from boarding Qatar Airways flight to her native Brazil because she was too big for her seat
- Influencer Juliana Nehme says she was stopped on her flight from Beirut to Doha
- She had been on holiday in Lebanon with her family, and arrived with no issue
- But she was denied boarding on return flight and missed her connection to Brazil
- She says Qatar Airlines told her she must buy a first class ticket for £2,480 instead, so that she would be able to fit in a seat – and did not offer her a refund
A furious plus-size model has said she was stopped from boarding a Qatar Airways flight to her native Brazil because she was too large for her seat.
Social media influencer Juliana Nehme, 38, has now accused the middle eastern airline of discriminating against her due to her size.
In a post for her 118,000 Instagram followers, Juliana said she was not allowed to board her flight from Beirut to Doha on November 22.
Social media influencer Juliana Nehme (pictured), 38, has accused the Qatar Airways of discriminating against her due to her size, after she was denied permission to board because of her size – despite having a ticket. They told her she had to purchase a first class ticket
She had been on holiday in Lebanon with her family and had arrived in the country via Air France without a hitch, she told her followers.
But being denied boarding on her first return flight meant she also went on to miss her onward connection to Sao Paulo, where she lives.
Juliana said Qatar Airways did not offer to refund her the £830 she had paid for her ticket. Instead, the influencer claimed, the airline said she needed to buy a first-class ticket – which has larger seats – for £2,480, so she fit into a seat on the plane.
Juliana took to social media to vent: ‘They are denying my right to travel… I’m desperate, help me, they don’t want me to board because I’m fat.’
The influencer ended up staying in Lebanon with her mother, while her sister and nephew returned home.
She told her followers: ‘What a shame for a company like Qatar to allow this type of discrimination against people! I’m fat, but I’m just like everyone else!’
At the time of reporting, Juliana remained in Lebanon unable to get back home and Qatar Airways had not responded to her allegations.
MailOnline has contacted the airline for comment.
Juliana Nehme (pictured left at a Qatar Airways check-in desk and right) had been on holiday in Lebanon with her family and had arrived in the country via Air France without hitch, she told her followers. But being denied boarding on her first return flight meant she would also miss her onward connection to Sao Paulo, where she lives
Pictured: Influencer Juliana Nehme poses while on holiday. Juliana said Qatar Airways did not offer to refund her the £830 she had paid for her ticket. Instead, the influencer claimed, the airline said she needed to buy a first-class ticket – which has larger seats – for £2,480
Qatar Airways was named the world’s best airline at the 2022 Skytrax World Airline Awards – a record seventh time.
With airlines looking to cut costs as much as possible, how to approach the sensitive topic of overweight passengers has been a contentious subject.
Airline carriers are tasked with calculating the weight and balance of their aircraft to ensure its within allowable limits for the safety of the plane.
In the United States, it has been suggested that the country’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) weighs some passengers before they board.
In recent years, increasing obesity rates in the US means that the standard numbers used by the airline industry to average out passenger weight is likely outdated and therefore, unsafe to use.
It was said at the time that weighing select passengers at airports would establish a more accurate number for average passenger weight so the number of seats available on flights can be adjusted accordingly.
Critics of such a move say this would open the door to discriminatory practices.