Aussie man claims Qantas 'fat-shamed' him over needing seat belt extension

Darren Beales
Darren Beales Photo credit: 9 News

A man is claiming he was "fat-shamed" by Qantas, after being told he could not sit in the exit row because he needed a seatbelt extension.

Darren Beales had booked an exit row seat, and upon boarding realised the seat belt would not fit him. 

He told TODAY when he asked the cabin crew for a seatbelt extension, they told him he could not sit in his pre-booked seat.

"So pretty much everyone was seated on the plane and she came back up to me and she said 'well, look we've got another seat for you'"

"I paid for a window seat but I end up getting an aisle seat, pretty much I got hit every single time someone went down the aisle," he told TODAY.

"She says 'well look, again airway regulations, you cannot sit in an exit seat if you're disabled or, you know - or if you require an extended seat belt,"

When he questioned her, Beales says the woman told him to buy two seats in future.

"I can fit into the seat fine - I didn't need a second seat,"

Beales said the experience offended him.

"It was fat shaming. She was rude," he told Geelong Advertiser.

"It made me feel really belittled. I could have helped in the emergency."

Qantas told it has clear guidelines on exit row safety, provided by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

CASA's website explains passengers in exit rows must be "able bodied" and able to help in an emergency.

Qantas' guidelines say anyone in an exit row seat must not require an infant seat belt, or an extension.