Qantas responds to 'shameful' message scribbled on in-flight magazine

It is believed the message was in response to the airline's acknowledgement of country.

Qantas in-flight magazine tucked inside pouch in front of seat shows the handwritten message scribbled in pen.
The Qantas in-flight magazine had a racist slur scribbled on it's cover. Source: Facebook

A handwritten note scribbled on the front of an in-flight magazine on a Qantas flight has been called out for being racist by passengers, with the husband of a former Indigenous senator and Olympian seeing it on his flight.

Scott Appleton, the husband of Nova Peris, was travelling from Alice Springs to Darwin on Tuesday when an elderly woman sitting beside him reportedly saw the message in the console in front of her. The message was a derogatory slur against Indigenous Australians and was believed to be in response to Qantas's acknowledgement of country which is announced during every landing.

Peris shared an image of the message online and said, "Here's to hoping Qantas tell their cleaning contractors to remove Qantas books from planes with racist messages written on them."

Aussies called out the note for being "disgusting" and "shameful".

"In a country that says it’s not racist, this is what our First Nations members have to tolerate," one man wrote.

It is understood Appleton flagged down a flight attendant and handed over the vandalised in-flight magazine. He was reportedly pleased with how the cabin crew responded, saying they were shocked at the content of the cover. It is understood the in-flight magazine was removed by cabin crew immediately.

"They handled the situation very well, and were extremely sensitive in the way it was handled," Appleton told the National Indigenous Times.

Qantas told Yahoo News it is committed to supporting Indigenous Australians as the national airline.

"We are appalled that someone would make these racist remarks," a Qantas spokesperson said. "We are committed to supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and are proud that our crew acknowledge country for every flight landing in Australia."

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.