First Interaction with Blatant Racism

This may was the first time I flew internationally, you know, got my passport stamped for the first time. It wasn’t as exciting as I had been dreaming it up to be, but that is a story for another day.

Anyway, my mother and I boarded our Qantas flight from New Delhi to Wellington, with two stopovers. The arduous journey put a strain on my mother who got air sick and vomited on the Singapore to Melbourne flight.

On our check-in at Melbourne, she was completely fine, since at this moment, she had been on ground for more than 4 hours and had a fitful sleep, enough to stave off the nausea due to travelling (important to note that we always get sick on journeys). On our check-in, we both forgot to ask for aisle seat. We had been travelling for more than 24 hours at this point and a combination of terrible flight food and mild nausea (on my part) we were tired and in that weird limbo where you feel hungry but don’t feel like eating anything.

Anyway, our flight to Wellington was pretty empty, I boarded without any trouble. My mother, in her naivety, mentioned to the air hostess that she had been vomiting (language trouble, she should have said air sick). They didn’t let her board the flight. I got down to see what the trouble was and tried to explain she meant air-sickness. They didn’t let her board the flight. I asked 3 different people if we would be charged for rebooking the flight, they all said no. A very clear no. I know what I asked and heard since we were carrying little cash on us as most of the money we would need had been wired a week earlier in my relative’s account (who stay in New Zealand).

Since there was no doctor on that airport (was supposed to be there, have picture to prove it), they sent my mother, a person who has never travelled internationally, out in Melbourne all by herself. Important to mention that our phones weren’t working without Wifi either. I had to stay behind with our luggage.

After she came back (somehow, thank you Melbourne people for helping her), the Qantas people refused to rebook us without money even after assuring us they would. Their supervisor threatened to “deport” us, called us liars who devised the plan to get aisle seats (as if, we both always prefer window seat for the view and it is easier to sleep there) and was overall very rude. She refused to see us with our context, that there was a language barrier regardless of the fact that we can speak English, fact is, we speak English with the context of India. Overall, she was a bitch.

Our relatives had to pay for us that day. Something that greatly embarrassed us. For two people who were going to a new country for the first time, it was an awful experience. We complained and got a refund (nothing more) even though I personally think they should have upgraded our seats for our flight booked back to India if they really felt sorry.

So, in short, fuck Qantas. Horrible people. Airlines these days are dehumanising customers, only seeing them as money machines. I honestly hope I never have to fly Qantas again, and I am writing this as a warning for others, Singapore Airlines is much better, and comparable prices.

Choose wisely.


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