Wedding party kicked off Jetstar flight claim ‘we were being attacked for looking ethnic and being Muslim’

Helen Coffey
Sarah Aslan was returning from her wedding in Bali when the group was kicked off a flight: 9 News

A Turkish-Australian wedding party who were kicked off a flight from Bali to Melbourne have accused the airline of attacking them for their ethnicity.

The bride, 33-year-old Sarah Aslan, was due to travel home on Jetstar flight JQ36 along with 21 family members and wedding guests.

However, the entire wedding party was removed from the flight after an alleged altercation between one guest, Mike Mahmoud, and a flight attendant over a faulty entertainment system.

“I really truly don’t believe I was arrogant, I just wanted to get home,” he told 9 News.

Ms Aslan accused Jetstar crew of targeting the group due to their appearance.

“Personally, it did feel like we were being attacked for looking ethnic and being Muslim,” she said. “That’s why I started crying. I’m like, I just want to go home, I don’t to be here anymore.”

The group were stranded at Denpasar airport in Bali at 2am local time with nowhere to stay.

Video shows children in the party forced to sleep on suitcases in the terminal.

The entire family were rebooked on a flight to Melbourne via Sydney 24 hours later.

“I’ll definitely not be going back to Bali and I think I speak for everyone when I say we definitely won’t be flying with Jetstar for any reason again,” said Mr Mahmoud.

Jetstar has said it is investigating the incident, and is requesting CCTV footage from the airport to determine what happened.

“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we do not tolerate any kind of disruptive or abusive behaviour,” said a spokesperson.

“Our crew dispute the claims made by these passengers.”

It comes after the budget Australian airline was accused of “slut shaming” a woman.

Serah Nathan, 33, was about to fly home to Melbourne on 3 November with Tigerair when she and her boyfriend were approached by a member of staff from rival budget airline Jetstar.

Ms Nathan describes sitting “on [her] partner’s knees facing him” and talking about “mundane nothingness” before a female employee intervened.

“Sit on a separate seat because there are children watching,” the woman allegedly told Ms Nathan.

Minutes later, Ms Nathan says the employee returned with a Jetstar team leader, who reiterated the need to move, saying: “You’re disrespecting the parents here by straddling your boyfriend.”

According to Ms Nathan, the staff member continued “her slut shaming mission”, adding: “I doubt you’ll be able to board your flight dressed that way but either way you can’t sit at this boarding gate.”

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