Airline that made woman feel like a ‘fat monster’ ordered to pay for therapy

Influencer Juliana Nehme said she felt like a ‘fat monster’ following the incident in November

Ella Doyle
Thursday 22 December 2022 13:19 GMT
The video went viral at the time
The video went viral at the time (Instagram/JulianaNehme)

A court has ordered Qatar Airways to pay for therapy for a plus-size model from Brazil who said she was told she was “too big” to board her flight.

Influencer Juliana Nehme, 38, accused the airline of not letting her board her flight from Beirut to Doha because of her weight on Tuesday 22 November.

She claimed that Qatar staff would only let her board the plane if she bought a business class ticket for $3,000 (£2,480), on top of the $1,000 (£830) ticket she had already purchased.

Nehme posted about the incident on social media at the time, filming the staff who she claimed did not let her board.

The post read: “I was extremely humiliated in front of all the people at the airport! All because I’m FAT! Shame on a company like Qatar to allow this type of DISCRIMINATION to people! I’m FAT But I’m JUST LIKE EVERYONE!

“It’s not fair to buy my ticket and be HUMILIATED, THREATENED AND BARRED FROM FLYING!”

Qatar Airways told The Independent at the time that Ms Nehme was not permitted to board due to her “extremely rude and aggressive” behaviour towards staff, and the fact that someone in her group did not have the correct Covid-19 documentation.

But following a court hearing in Sao Paulo about the incident, Qatar Airways has been ordered to pay for psychological treatment for Ms Nehme, the Daily Mail has reported.

Judge Renata Martins de Carvalho ruled on 20 December that the airline must pay for “a weekly therapy session worth BRL 400 (£63) for a period of at least one year, totalling BRL 19,200 (£3,000)”.

She said at the hearing that the “granting of urgent relief is a reasonable and proportionate measure to ensure that the stressful and traumatic event is overcome” by Ms Nehme. Her lawyer said the ruling was a “milestone in the fight against prejudice”.

Ms Nehme said of the incident: “It was like I wasn’t a human being to them. I was a fat monster that couldn’t get on board. It was horrible. I’d never imagined going through something like this, ever.

“It hurts me now to remember how much I blamed myself, because I blamed myself a lot, I even asked my mother for forgiveness several times.

“I said, ‘Mum, forgive me, because me being like this stopped you from going home’. And she said it wasn’t my fault.”

The Independent has approached Qatar Airways for comment.

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