Jetstar discriminationCat Franke, 23, has dark hair, a shaved head and lots of tattoos.Julz Evans, 26, has short blonde hair and is wearing yellow in all of the pictures. photo supplied Jetstar discriminationCat Franke, 23, has dark hair, a shaved head and lots of tattoos.Julz Evans, 26, has short blonde hair and is wearing yellow in all of the pictures. photo supplied
A recent Jetstar trip turned into the flight from hell for a queer couple, who claim they were subject to a barrage of homophobic slurs and verbal abuse on their domestic flight.
Cat Franke, 23, and Julz Evans, 26, were travelling from Melbourne to Perth on New Year’s Eve to visit family.
They turned to social media to air their complaints on the lack of intervention by the air crew.
The Facebook post had been shared many times and has gained a number of supportive comments for the couple.
Ms Franke said an “intoxicated, arrogant man” was behaving erratically as they boarded the flight.
The man sat behind Ms Franke and her partner Julz Evans in seat 3C, towards the front of the plane.
While he was initially calm, Ms Franke said it did not take long for him to become verbally abusive.
“It hit midnight in Melbourne, so I leaned over to share a New Year’s kiss with my partner,” she said.
“He put his face up to the gap in the chair and started mumbling about how he wanted to watch lesbians kiss.”
The couple became extremely uncomfortable and abandoned their gesture.
The man then resorted to using homophobic slurs to catch their attention, replacing words in popular songs with offensive insults and whacking the back of Evans’ chair.
When asked to stop, the man reportedly became more aggressive with his abuse and chair pummelling, yelling out to the cabin crew for more drinks.
A Jetstar spokesperson confirmed the man had been served three alcoholic beverages, but added that the crew did not believe the man was intoxicated.
“Our crew are trained to identify whether passengers are intoxicated and in this instance, our crew do not believe this passenger was.”
The case will be submitted to the Jetstar’s behaviour review panel for assessment.
Repeat offences submitted to the customer behaviour review panel can result in bans or blacklisting of the offender.
“We don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind,” the spokesperson said, noting that the crew member alerted to the man’s behaviour was “appalled” at his language and actions.
“Our crew were made aware at the end of flight that derogatory comments had been made,” she said, encouraging customers to report inappropriate behaviour during a flight.
“Jetstar has a range of procedures in place to deal with these situations.”
But Ms Franke disagrees. While the couple only approached cabin crew upon exiting the plane, they firmly believe staff had been aware of the passenger’s behaviour.
“They giggled at him like he was a joke,” she said, “and he continued his rampage”.
The women have been given a $50 Jetstar voucher each in what the spokesperson called a “gesture of goodwill” while the investigation takes place, but Ms Franke said they’d like a full refund for the flight, and to see the man blacklisted from all Jetstar flights.
“I don’t want him to make anyone else feel like that,” Ms Franke said, adding that it was “the worst instance of homophobia” she’d experienced.