Officials from a Balinese airport have refuted claims a group of passengers were kicked off a Melbourne-bound flight for their religion, calling the passengers “unruly”.
Melbourne newlywed, Sarah Aslan, claimed she and 21 other members of her extended family were removed from a Jetstar flight, coming home from her wedding in Bali.
Ms Aslan told Nine News she believed she and her family were kicked off the plane due to their appearance.
“Personally, it did feel like we were being attacked for looking ethnic and being Muslim,” Ms Aslan said.
Officials from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport said the removal of the passengers had nothing to do with their religion, but rather to do with security.
“We want to convey that the removal of a number of passengers from [the Jetstar plane] was purely because of security and flight safety reasons related to unruly passengers,” airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim said on Wednesday, according to the Jakarta Post.
Mr Ahsanurrohim added the family’s removal had nothing to do with ethnicity, religion, race, and other social division issues, saying two of the passengers did not follow cabin crew’s instructions.
According to Mr Ahsanurrohim, two passengers insisted on standing up because their in-flight entertainment monitor would not turn on.
When the passengers did not listen to cabin crew’s instructions, the incident was reported to the pilot, according to Mr Ahsanurrohim.
The pilot then decided the passengers should be removed from the plane “because they would not listen to the flight safety instructions from the cabin crew,” Mr Ahsanurrohim said.
The other 19 passengers then protested the removal of the two and were then also removed.
Following the allegations made by Ms Aslan, a Jetstar spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia a “number of customers became disruptive and failed to follow crew instructions” while the aircraft was taxiing to the runway.
“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we do not tolerate any kind of disruptive or abusive behaviour,” the spokesperson said.
“We take these allegations extremely seriously and are investigating the matter, however our crew dispute the claims made by these passengers.”
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