A judge ordered an airline to pay for therapy for a plus-size passenger who was stopped from taking her economy seat, reports say
- Qatar Airways was ordered to pay nearly $3,700 to cover psychotherapy fees for a passenger.
- Plus-size model Juliana Nehme said she was blocked from flying because she was too big for economy.
Qatar Airways has been ordered to pay for psychotherapy sessions for a passenger who was denied boarding because she was "too big" to fit in an economy class seat, reports say.
Brazilian plus-size model Juliana Nehme said she was blocked from flying from Beirut to Doha by Qatar last month. She told her Instagram followers she was asked to pay $3,000 for a first-class ticket, and was refused a refund for the $947 she'd paid for an economy seat.
A court in Sao Paolo, Brazil has now ordered the airline to pay for psychotherapy for Nehme following the incident, Mail Online reported.
Judge Renata Martins de Carvalho told a Brazil court the treatment should consist of a "weekly therapy session" costing about 400 reais ($77) for at least a year, totalling 19,200 reais ($3,700), according to the Mail and news.com.au.
The judge said the order was a "reasonable and proportionate measure to ensure that the stressful and traumatic event is overcome" by the model and influencer.
Nehme's lawyer, Eduardo Barbosa, described the ruling as "a milestone in the fight against prejudice," the outlets reported.
Speaking to Brazilian media, Nehme said: "It was like I wasn't a human being to them. I was a fat monster that couldn't get on board. It was horrible. I'd never imagined going through something like this, ever."
Nehme was eventually able to board a flight using her original economy ticket after an official from the Brazilian embassy in Brussels contacted Qatar Airways, court documents showed.
In response to the incident, an airline spokesperson told Insider that Nehem was denied boarding when she became "extremely rude and aggressive" to check-in staff after a traveling companion failed to produce the necessary COVID-19 documentation required to enter Brazil.
The spokesperson also said that passengers could be asked to purchase an extra seat if they could not fit adequately into one alone.
"Qatar Airways treats all passengers with respect and dignity and in line with industry practices and similar to most airlines, anyone who impedes upon the space of a fellow traveller and cannot secure their seatbelt or lower their armrests may be required to purchase an additional seat both as a safety precaution and for the comfort and safety of all passengers."
Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
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