A mother was stopped from boarding a flight Wednesday because one her children was not wearing shoes.
Passenger Isobel Mebus said she was “disgusted” by staff on the Jetstar flight from New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport to Auckland and it was “awful” to see the woman become increasingly upset.
“Just saw a Samoan mum with two small children refused entry on to a plane at Queenstown airport because her son had no shoes. Other passengers offered her son shoes to put on but still she was not allowed to board,” she wrote on Facebook after the incident earlier this week.
“Shame on you Jetstar, really, really disgusted.”
The mother was carrying a baby girl and her son, aged about four years, was not wearing any shoes, she added.
After staff refused to let them board, she told the Stuff website, that other passengers rallied around to help but no solution could be found.
One couple offered to buy shoes for the boy, but they were not allowed back through the security gates to do so.
Another passenger said the child could borrow some shoes, but retracted the offer once the gate agent explained he would be required to wear them for the entire flight, including boarding and deplaning.
The mother was “quite upset actually at this point,” and “was crying,” Ms. Mebus said. “I was really disgusted,” she added. “I thought it was so stupid.”
Jetstar states on its website that wearing shoes is a requirement under its conditions of carriage.
An airline spokesperson told The Independent: “We were unable to board a family on a flight from Queenstown to Auckland yesterday as a passenger in their group was not wearing shoes. We understand this was frustrating for the family however for safety reasons we require all passengers to wear footwear when boarding, while inflight and when disembarking our aircraft.”
They added: “We arranged for the family to travel on the next available flight at no additional cost.”
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