Qantas accused of sexism after kicking woman in sportswear out of airport lounge

‘In 2020 Qantas Airlines Melbourne won’t allow a woman holding a business class ticket to enter their business class lounge in active wear,’ says former WWE wrestler

Helen Coffey
Monday 20 January 2020 12:37 GMT
Natalie Eva Marie
Natalie Eva Marie (Getty Images)

A fitness model has accused Qantas of sexism after she was allegedly kicked out of its Melbourne airport lounge for being dressed in sportswear.

Former WWE wrestler Natalie Eva Marie, who was flying business class with the airline, posted about the experience on Twitter.

“In 2020 Qantas Airlines Melbourne won’t allow a woman holding a business class ticket to enter their business class lounge in active wear,” she tweeted.

“My business IS fitness and an active lifestyle. Qantas prefers their women in a dress. #genderdiscrimination #qantas”.

While she said she had no problem with dress codes in general, Ms Eva Marie claimed that her husband, dressed in similar a sportswear ensemble of shorts and a t-shirt, had no issue accessing the lounge.

“Clarification: This is NOT a dress code issue, I support a businesses right to enforce equitable dress code standards [sic]. However, my husband was allowed in no problem wearing this. While I was kicked out wearing this. My issue is that standards should be equitably enforced @Qantas.”

Ms Eva Marie shared a photo of her outfit – a red sweatshirt and red leggings – with her 940,000-strong Twitter following.

Qantas has a clear dress policy for its Australian lounges outlined on its website.

Guests are asked to follow “smart casual dress guidelines” and prohibited items of clothing include: flip-flops and bare feet; sleepwear, including Ugg boots and slippers; head-to-toe gymwear; beachwear, including board shorts; revealing, unclean or torn clothing; and clothing featuring offensive images or slogans.

As Ms Eva Marie was dressed in “head-to-toe gymwear”, she was contravening the carrier’s standard policy. However, she claims her issue stems from the fact her husband received different treatment.

The Independent has contacted Qantas for comment.

It’s not the first time an airline has come under fire for its dress code.

In 2019, a mother travelling with her son was left humiliated after American Airlines cabin crew forced her to cover up her outfit with a blanket before they would let her onboard.

Latisha Rowe, a doctor from Houston,Texas, was wearing a strapless playsuit for the flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami.

She said she was almost at her seat when a flight attendant asked her to come to the front of the plane with no explanation.

Dr Rowe was then directed onto the gangway and asked if she had a jacket she could wear as crew had deemed her outfit “inappropriate”.

Dr Rowe was given the option to change her outfit or cover herself up if she wanted to be allowed back onto the flight.

An AA spokesperson said: “We were concerned about Dr Rowe’s comments, and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to reach Dr Rowe or leave a message at the number provided. We want to personally apologise to Dr Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel.

“We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”

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