The Prick is a big fan of Virgin Australia, finding their friendly service and new airplane fitouts far preferable to the tired and haggard planes and crew one all too often gets on Qantas. Which is why it’s a shame to see the carrier falling into the all-men-are-pedos trap:
Sydney fireman Johnny McGirr, 33, said he was flying home from Brisbane in April when he took his seat next to two boys he estimated to be between 8 and 10 years old.
He was assigned the window seat but sat in the aisle seat so the two boys could look out the window.
However, a flight attendant approached him just as passengers were asked to put on their seatbelts, asking him to move.
Mr McGirr said when he asked why, he was told, “Well you can’t sit next to two unaccompanied minors.”
“She said it was the policy and I said, ‘Well, that’s pretty sexist and discriminatory. You can’t just say because I’m a man I can’t sit there,’ and she just apologised and said that was the policy.
“By this stage everyone around me had started looking.”
Mr McGirr said the attendant then asked a fellow female passenger, “Can you please sit in this seat because he is not allowed to sit next to minors.”
I don’t blame McGirr for being annoyed, and I wonder if under Australia’s defamation laws he may have a case: the flight attendant pretty much called him a pederast in front of an entire plane load of people, yet he looks nothing like Harry Reid.
Virgin Australia ought to reconsider, apologise, and fling a few business class tickets Mr McGirr’s way. It’s surprising to see an airline this mistake after BA got such a public a black eye for making London Mayor Boris Johnson move seats under a similar policy – when he was seated next to his own kids.