Mother lashes out at Jetstar over 'disgusting flight experience'

  • 02/10/2019

A woman is furious after flying with Jetstar on a recent New Zealand regional flight, saying she was "publicly shamed" over her child's dirty nappy.

Komal Shah flew from Auckland to Palmerston North on September 26 with her two children - one a 17-month-old boy - and claims a "rude" flight attendant "humiliated" her and reduced to tears.

Jetstar apologised "for any confusion or embarrassment" Shah and her family felt.

"Soon after takeoff, my son became irritated due to his soiled nappy, so I went to the toilet at the front of the aircraft as instructed by the staff to change him," Shah told Newshub.

"I removed the soiled nappy and put it into the nappy bag and made sure it was closed. I couldn't see a rubbish bin and I could not take the soiled nappy back into the aircraft, as it would disturb all other passengers onboard."

She says she left it "in the corner, away from the toilet seat area", which is what she claims triggered the flight attendant's "anger".

"She yelled and said that I cannot do that, it is very stinky!" says Shah, who also claims the flight attendant told her to take the dirty nappy back to her seat and put it under her feet.

"She embarrassed me in front of other passengers and my own kids. How is putting a soiled nappy in the cabin area a good idea, where it would disturb everyone else?"

Shah says the flight attendant's behaviour continued to be hostile toward her for the rest of the flight and even after landing, at which point the captain intervened.

"The captain asked me if everything was okay, and I said 'no, it is not'. I told them I will go to grab the nappy and he said, 'please ma'am, there is no need, we have ground staff who will remove it'," she says.

"He then took me outside the plane and apologised again. He said that the staff had been stressed because they could possibly be made redundant."

Jetstar recently announced it is pulling out of the regional market in New Zealand, but said all staff will be offered other positions within Jetstar or across the wider Qantas group.

Shah says the flight attendant then "taunted" her for crying in front of the pilot.

Jetstar confirmed to Newshub it is communicating with Shah about her experience.

"Our customer care team is in contact with the customer to better understand what happened and we apologise sincerely for any confusion or embarrassment that she and her family experienced onboard," a spokesperson told Newshub.

Shah confirmed she was contacted by Jetstar on October 1 over what she labels a "disgusting flight experience".

After speaking with the airline's customer service team, she concedes that she may not have found the bin in the aircraft's toilet as she was "stressing to change my son in a small tight space while standing him up".

However, she says instructions to dispose of nappies in the toilet bin contradicts what the flight attendant told her and she hopes the airline reprimands the staff member. 

"I just have to trust Jetstar will follow through and I personally hope the flight attendant doesn't behave like this towards anyone else in the future, especially parents traveling with infants and toddlers."

Jetstar also confirmed that dirty nappies should be put in the bins in their toilets.

"Families travelling with infants and young children are able to change nappies in the toilets onboard our aircraft. Rubbish bins are provided in toilets on all our aircraft where soiled nappies can be disposed of."