'Wildly inappropriate': Woman slams Jetstar's response to 'slut-shaming'

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Serah Nathan (pictured with brother Sanjay) has slammed Jetstar's reponse to an airport incident as 'wildly inappropriate'. Photo: Supplied

A woman who says she was ‘slut-shamed’ by Jetstar staff while boarding a domestic flight has spoken out, slamming the budget airline not only for her treatment at the airport but also for a bizarre response from customer services when she tried to complain.

Serah Nathan was waiting to board a Tiger Air flight on Sunday from Sydney Domestic Airport with her boyfriend when she says Jetstar staff approached her, kicking off what has become a very controversial run-in with the airline.

The Melbourne-based writer was sitting facing her boyfriend, straddling him on an airport chair where she says they were just talking when she was approached by staff.

“(My boyfriend and I) found a row of empty seats and I sat on his knees facing him whilst chatting about mundane nothingness, including our plans for the upcoming week,” the 33-year-old told Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Out of nowhere, a uniformed Jetstar representative sidled up behind me and instructed me to, ‘sit on a separate seat because there are children watching’.”

Serah says that she refused and then watched as a team leader was called over.

The woman apparently lambasted Serah, calling her posture ‘disrespectful’ to other passengers, even saying her outfit was ‘inappropriate’ for an aircraft.

Serah shared an image of the outfit, a pair of casual tracksuit pants with a crop top, with Yahoo Lifestyle.

Serah Nathan shared a photo of her outfit with Jetstar complaints, and it sparked a bizarre response. Photo: Supplied

As Serah was in fact not a Jetstar customer and only waiting to take her Tiger Air flight from the Jetstar gate, no action was taken over the clothing.

A spokesperson for the airline told Yahoo Lifestyle they are speaking to their airport team to better understand what happened.

‘Wildly inappropriate’ response

Most bizarrely however, was Jetstar’s customer service department’s response when Serah tried to lodge an official complaint about the incident.

In shared screenshots, a representative responded to Serah’s complaint with what she described as ‘wildly inappropriate’ language.

Screenshots of Serah's interaction with Jetstar customer complaints online service. Photo: Supplied

In response to Serah’s complaint, a customer representative, Majorie Rose, wrote back a strange assessment of the outfit.

“I have checked the photo and I think you are very beautiful,” the response reads.

“Your boyfriend must be very lucky to have you.”

In response to Serah’s complaint, the representative argued staff ‘would not approach you if there was no issue at all’, and explained the airline’s position from a personal perspective.

“The airport staff were also advising you not to cuddle too much with your boyfriend around as there were minors around,” she wrote, adding “I don’t think it’s appropriate to sit on your boyfriend’s knees when there are empty seats around.”

Though she acknowledged the behaviour was ‘not sexual’ she argued, “this kind of body language must be done in a private place.”

Serah denies cuddling her boyfriend or doing anything other than talking, and points out that no rules seem to have been explicitly broken by herself or her boyfriend.

“The complaints process was bizarre and the inappropriate comments from the employee on the other end, "Marjorie Rose", made me feel powerless (and) frustrated,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Unless I was dry humping him, sticking my tongue down his throat or fondling his genitals, sitting on his knees at an Australian airport is not inappropriate. We were verbally saying our final goodbyes.”

Jetstar made no excuses for the bizarre exchange with customer services.

“We apologise to Serah for the manner in which her query was handled by our online customer service representative which fell well short of the standards we expect,” a Jetstar spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Serah is still waiting for further contact from Jetstar about the incident.

It’s not the first time the airline has found itself in hot water over an incident of alleged ‘slut-shaming’, earlier this year another young woman was told to cover her outfit as it was also deemed ‘inappropriate’.

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