A gay couple where left 'humiliated' by Emirates during their flight
A British male couple where left humiliated and embarrassed by the staff at Emirates.
Lee Charlton, his husband Jason and their son Keiran had planned to travel from Manchester to Dubai but where met with rude staff who made fun of their relationship and sexuality.
Writing on Facebook, Lee said,
We handed all our documents to the lady behind the desk who gave us a quizzical look as we are gay parents. She asked me if Kieran was my brother to which I replied no my son. She then looked at Jason my partner and asked the same question with a look of surprise on her face She then said she could not issue our tickets and shouted her manager over,’ he wrote.
‘He looked at the documents and then at us and said we may not be allowed to travel we asked when and he said its South Africa not us. He asked us to wait in a room and did not give us any indication to what the problem was. After an hour I went to find the gentleman but could not find him.
‘After two hours I went to the desk to ask what was going on and the lady said that we had to get clearance for us to travel to South Africa. I asked why and said I had already checked all this out prior to my departure. I was getting stressed as our connecting flight was now boarding.
‘I asked if it was because we are gay and I was laughed at. I have never felt so embarrassed.’
Finally, the family were allowed to board their flight to Durban. Charlton said he didn’t want to kick up too much of a fuss because they had 30 minutes to make their flight.
An Emirates spokesperson said in a statement: ‘At Emirates we do our best to provide our passengers with the very best customer service and travel advice and we’re sorry to hear about Mr Charlton’s complaint.
‘Since 1 June 2015, according to South African regulations, anyone traveling to the country with a minor under 18 needs to prove parenthood or guardianship – while adults traveling alone with their children need to show that they have the consent of their non-traveling partner.
‘Like all airlines, we must comply with the laws of every country in which we operate and this is a shared responsibility with passengers, who are required to hold valid travel documents for all countries on their itinerary.
‘We note that the Charlton family continued on Emirates flight EK 775 to Durban, as booked. We regret any inconvenience caused, however, compliance with international laws concerning child protection will not be compromised.’