An Australian woman has accused Qantas airline of "blatant homophobia" after staff repeatedly asked her partner to move seats so a husband and wife could be seated together.
Kristina Antoniades claims she was preparing to board a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne with her partner, Merrin, and their daughter, Lily, on Monday (November 6), when staff told them their family would be separated so that another couple could be seated together.
Ms Antoniades says she insisted "that we were a family" to staff and that her partner's boarding pass was eventually reissued, but that the confusion continued during the flight itself, when a Qantas air steward accused Merrin of separating the married couple and demanded she produce her boarding pass, reports the Sydney Morning Herald
"I again advised the flight manager that we were a family and wanted to be seated together. She asked me why I had taken it upon myself to move the wife away from her husband. I advised her that we were in our designated seats," said Ms Antoniades.
"She demanded to see our boarding passes. We produced them and again she asked why we were not allowing the married couple to be seated together.
"I again told her that Merrin was my partner and Lily our daughter. I told her we had just as much right to be seated together as the married couple."
Ms Antoniades said her family were able to remain in their designated seats but that the incident of "blatant discrimination" left her in tears.
"It was a terrible experience and I am saddened that our daughter had to witness this," she wrote.
A Qantas spokeswoman said staff had contacted the passengers to apologise for the "unfortunate misunderstanding".
"We have been in contact with the passengers to apologise for the situation, where we were faced with two separate groups of customers asking to switch seats to sit together, including an elderly couple," she said.
"On board, a misunderstanding occurred about the seating arrangement. This was an unfortunate misunderstanding and we've since apologised to the customer."
The spokeswoman said Ms Antoniades had been offered extra Frequent Flyer points as a gesture of goodwill.
Nick Jonas fails to deny experimenting sexually with men
Homophobe who didn’t like soup company’s gay dads advert just got owned