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Jetstar’s pregnancy challenge humiliates young woman

October 29, 2015 Aviation, Headline News 3 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59“NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ask ANY woman if she is pregnant!” That’s a piece of sound advice on etiquette delivered by a leading counsellor – and Jetstar appears to have ignored it.

The airline has apologised to a female passenger after a male flight attendant inquired if she was 28 weeks pregnant. The woman is not pregnant.

Grethe Andersen, of Wellington New Zealand, says she felt self-conscious after the question was asked in public as she boarded an aircraft, Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper reported.http://www.exoticvoyages.com/

Andersen, 24, does not look overweight in pictures published of her in New Zealand. Yet when she was flying from Wellington to Auckland on Sunday with Jetstar, she said  a male attendant indicated his stomach and said something she couldn’t hear. When she asked him what he meant, he asked her if she was 28 weeks pregnant.

Andersen said the comment left her feeling embarrassed and self-conscious, as other passengers heard it. On arrival in Auckland, she asked the senior flight attendant (also male) about it and was told that female passengers were sometimes asked for safety reasons if they were more than 28 weeks pregnant.

The woman vented her feelings about the incident on Jetstar’s Facebook page.

Jetstar’s policy requires expectant mothers 28 weeks pregnant or more to carry a medical certificate from a doctor or midwife, dated no more than 10 days before travel.

The airline contacted Anderson on Tuesday evening, offering her an apology and a NZD 100 voucher, the paper said.

The mistake has happened before, with Jetstar’s New Zealand staff challenging women (both those who were pregnant and those who weren’t) about their condition.

Incidentally, the counsellor who wrote “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ask ANY woman if she is pregnant!” did so in an article called “12 Things You Should Never Ask a Woman”, published by the Huffington Post. Toronto-based personal trainer, counsellor and therapist Erica Berman justified her injunction as follows.

  • It’s none of your damn business;
  • If she’s not, you’ve just deeply insulted her;
  • If she is, she may not be making it public yet;
  • She may simply have eaten a big burrito;
  • She may have a medical problem that makes her appear pregnant and you’ve just humiliated her (I saw a woman for counselling who had to use a surrogate because of multiple cysts which made her appear full-term pregnant);
  • She may be struggling with infertility and taking meds that cause bloating or swelling of the ovaries and you are just rubbing salt in her wounds;
  • It’s none of your damn business.

But is it the business of an airline? Jetstar could perhaps contemplate Berman’s advice.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    oh dear oh dear the old chesttnut – your damned if you do and damned if you don’t – poor bloke was just doing his job – bugger his feelings and embarrassment – oh no ! ! Maybe Can a little card be carried by staff and shown to flyers in question , but then I guess it will need to be book sized to cover every language – cant win – hey lady , simple one word covers the airlines legal requirement- yes or no – the attendant was RIGHT – he has to make sure

  2. AgentGerko says:

    Hear, Hear, Bruce. Wasn’t it just a week or so ago we had the story of a woman giving birth on a trans Atlantic flight? Despite the fact that lady clearly broke airline rules and put her unborn child at risk, the story was portrayed as a wonderful thing. I’m sure the other passengers who had their flight thrown into turmoil weren’t so happy. You’ve got to ask these questions because clearly there are some women who break the rules. As you say Bruce, damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  3. gnits says:

    …in the first place, airlines should put a waiver on their websites /even agents should do it/ if they cannot tell women directly at least you’re telling it to them in general… give the safety responsibility to them… or announce before take off – women who are 28weeks pregnant can you please raise your hands so we can let you know safety procedure.. or include it in your safety demo before the flight…

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