Ian Smith had an unfortunate end to his Fiji cruise last month, when Jetstar refused to let him travel back to his home in New South Wales from Melbourne. And although Smith is a wheelchair-user, that wasn’t the reason for the denied boarding.
Smith was denied passage because of his weight. More specifically, Jetstar employees claimed he was too heavy to be transferred to the airline seat.
Interestingly enough, Jetstar employees did transfer Smith to his seat on his outbound flight.
According to Jetstar, “While Mr. Smith has been manually lifted into his seat on previous flights with Jetstar, our airport teams are not approved to perform manual lifts of passengers requiring wheelchair assistance and this shouldn’t have occurred.”
So the airline made a mistake and Smith had to pay the price.
Smith was subsequently flown home on Quantas, after spending an additional five days in Melbourne. According to Jetstar, the incident is under review.
There’s no reference to passenger weight limits on the Jetstar website; however it does note that customers of size must purchase two seats.
Of course this isn’t Jetstar’s first black mark as far as access is concerned.
They once forced a Paralympic athlete to crawl.
And they have denied boarding to solo wheelchair-users before.
Bottom line — proceed with caution as far as Jetstar is concerned.