One man is on a mission to sue Qantas airline after he almost bit into a hypodermic needle that was found in his butter chicken during an in-flight meal. He is claiming that he suffers from PTSD and depression due to the incident.
While 51-year-old Ben Sabeto was on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, the needle pricked his tongue when he took a bite of his chicken and after he spit it out and informed the airline staff, he allegedly received no apology. Sabeto, who was sitting in seat 29B on flight QF553, is accusing the airline of causing him Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression after he almost ate the needle. After a few mouthfuls of the butter chicken with cauli pea masala, Sabeto felt a sharp pain in his tongue. As soon as he bit into the needle, he spit it out and called over the flight supervisor who took photographs.
The Bribie Island, Queensland man asked for the needle back, but according to the claim that was filed in the NSW District Court, the airline never contacted them even after they said they would.
Sabeto’s lawyer, David Adams, stated that his client was claiming a ‘full scope of damages’ under the Civil Aviation Act (Carrier’s Liability) and Australian Consumer Law.
“Having come across myriad obscure cases in the past, I can confidently say that I have not come across a case such as this before,” said Adams. “I can only sympathize with Ben for the amount of stress and anxiety he has had to endure because of this incident.”
So far, Sabeto has not been apologized to or compensated for the incident, instead, they offered him another meal and another bottle of wine.
Surely Sabeto wasn’t in the mood to eat immediately after he found a hypodermic needle in his piece of chicken. It’s pretty disturbing that the airline would have such poor communication skills that they wouldn’t even apologize, let alone get back to him. Instead, they took away the only evidence that Sabeto had, which makes the story a little bit more concerning, as if they were really trying to hide something. Had it been an odd mistake, they should’ve just fessed up, apologized and compensated the man for the incident.
Without apologizing, Qantas denied the claim and stated that it would be impossible for the needle to even get on board the plane because the onboard meals had to be scanned twice by metal detectors before they even get loaded on.
‘There is no evidence to show that a syringe was in the meal at any stage during preparation in the catering center or onboard,’ the airline’s claim said.
Evidently, Qantas Airline needs to brush up on their public relations skills. They’ve already lost one customer and possibly many more due to an incident that could’ve easily been taken care of in a more professional manner.
The catering company that Qantas uses and owns is called Snap Fresh and it was listed as the second respondent in the case. Both Qantas and Snap Fresh have 28 days to respond.
Ironically enough, Sabeto’s lawsuit came just days after Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce had a lemon menagerie pie shoved in his face by an elderly man angry at his corporate promotion of marriage equality. Coincidence?