A registered nurse from Byron Bay says Jetstar escorted her and her 12-year-old daughter off a flight from Uluru like “criminals” after she told the cabin crew she was suffering from shingles.
Shingles is a common rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox but shingles is not contagious except by direct close contact.
The woman and her daughter were due to fly from Uluru to Melbourne for the daughter’s 12th birthday. The mother told check-in staff as a courtesy that she had come down with shingles and asked to not be seated next to children or pregnant women, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The disclosure led to the Jetstar flight being grounded for two hours as the pair’s bags were unloaded.
The mother told the paper they felt like terrorists when ordered off the plane – and her daughter was in tears.
The mother says Jetstar left her and her daughter on the tarmac with two bottles of water. They had to pay AUD 595 for an extra night’s accommodation in Uluru before being allowed to fly with Jetstar the next day, armed with a doctor’s certificate.
Qantas and Jetstar identify shingles on their list of Contagious and Infectious diseases and require a travel clearance from a doctor if “non-dermal complications are present” or if the traveller is unsure whether active lesions are present.
“Unfortunately, this customer was unable to provide official medical clearance and the Captain made the correct call to ask her to not travel until she could,” a Jetstar spokesman told the paper.
Written by Peter Needham