Qatar Airways has been ordered by a Brazil court to pay for psychotherapy sessions for a Brazillian influencer and model after allegedly refusing to let her board due to her size, New York Post reported. In an Instagram video that went viral last month, the 38-year-old influencer Juliana Nehme told her 1,68,000 Instagram followers that she was not allowed to board her flight from Beirut to Doha on November 22 because she was “too fat.”
She further said that she was asked to pay $3,000 for a first-class ticket to fit in the section’s larger seats and was refused a refund for the $947 she’d paid for an economy seat.
“They are denying my right to travel… I’m desperate, help me, they don’t want me to board because I’m fat,” she said in the video. As a result, the influencer ended up staying in Lebanon with her mother, while her sister and nephew returned home.
She further 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!”
According to News.com.au, Judge Renata Martins de Carvalho on December 20, ruled in her favour and ordered Qatar Airways to pay for psychotherapy so she can come to terms with the distress caused by the incident. The judge said that the treatment should consist of a “weekly therapy session” costing about 400 reais (Rs 6,389) for at least a year, totalling 19,200 reais (Rs 3,07,018). The judge said the order was a “reasonable and proportionate measure to ensure that the stressful and traumatic event is overcome” by the model and influencer.
The influencer’s lawyer, Eduardo Barbosa, described the ruling as “a milestone in the fight against prejudice”, according to New York Post.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways said in a statement: “Qatar Airways treats all passengers with respect and dignity and in line with industry practices and similar to most airlines. Anyone who impedes upon the space of a fellow traveller 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 passenger in question at Beirut Airport was initially extremely rude and aggressive to check-in staff when one of her travelling party did not produce required PCR documentation for entry to Brazil. As a result, airport security was requested to intervene as staff and passengers were extremely concerned with her behaviour.”
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