Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Don't fly Qantas

Welcome to Australia, where if you don't like the government's racist refugee deportation policies, their airline collaborator will ban you from flying:

Qantas has banned a Melbourne man from flying with them after he asked to be removed from a flight taking an asylum seeker from Melbourne to Darwin for deportation.

Paul Leary has filed a complaint with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal's human rights division, on the grounds that the ban discriminates against him on the basis of his political belief.

The 51-year-old was booked on a flight on February 2 this year and arrived at Melbourne Airport to find asylum seeker advocates handing out information about a Sri Lankan man who was on the flight.


Mr Leary said that while [a] protest was taking place, he and his business partner decided they wanted to leave the plane because they were not comfortable with the man's treatment.


Four days later, having made it to Darwin with a different airline, the pair went to Darwin airport for their Qantas trip home to Melbourne.

Mr Leary said a Qantas manager told them they could not board their flight because they were subject to a no-fly ban and a security review.

But pretty obviously, this isn't a "security" issue, but a political one. Leary is being punished for politely expressing disapproval of Qantas' actions. Hopefully the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal will make it clear that this is not acceptable. Otherwise I suppose there's always defamation action.

In the meantime, don't fly Qantas, because they're arseholes.