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It’s your party and you’ll fly if you want to…but respect our crew and customers

05th June 2017 • Posted in Announcements

The removal of a hen party from our East Midlands to Majorca flight last week for wearing offensive attire generated plenty of media coverage. Another airline even weighed in to the debate. Our response to the incident, we believe, successfully reinforces our position as a "family friendly" company and demonstrates exactly why we are the Best UK Airline according to TripAdvisor and the only UK airline to be awarded Which? ‘Recommended Provider’ status.

At Jet2.com we are well-known for our family friendly approach and our "Onboard Together" initiative, which takes a zero-tolerance stance to disruptive and offensive behaviour and confirms our commitment to improving all our customers’ travel experience. We are very proud of this policy and we know that our customers value it too.

Disruptive and offensive behaviour takes many forms and we believe that the language displayed last week on the Hen party’ t-shirts, coupled with their rowdy behaviour was unacceptable for a family friendly airline. At this time of year, during half term, we have many children flying with us and as travel writer, Simon Calder, commented recently on ITV’s This Morning: "if you wouldn’t want your 8-year old child asking what a word means, then don’t display it."

The decision to remove some members of the group from the flight wasn’t just about one offensive word on t-shirts. It was also about the lack of consideration and repeated failures to follow important instructions given by our staff, crew and airport police to ensure others wouldn’t be offended. It was about common decency and a lack of respect for fellow travellers.

It began at check-in, when the group were reminded of our "Onboard Together" policy and told that they would not be permitted to fly whilst wearing t-shirts which displayed offensive language. The group were asked to either wear different attire or cover up the offensive word. This led to repeated protests, inappropriate and often colourful language and one individual even ripping her top off in front of other bemused customers whilst others in the group cheered.

Thankfully, our trained check-in team eventually convinced them to cover the wording up and as they left the check-in desk it appeared the issue had been resolved.

However, our staff and even airport police, were forced to intervene once more after a dozen of the group in the departures’ area decided to display the offensive t-shirts again for all to see.

After further intervention the group eventually complied with repeated requests and the aircraft prepared to depart for Majorca. Sadly, hopes for a trouble-free flight were premature as once in the cabin, six of the group again decided to ignore the warnings, revealing the offensive wording in front of an aircraft full of families and children. Their repeated failure to adhere to promises they had previously agreed to and their continued disruptive behaviour lead the crew to become concerned as to how things might develop, once the aircraft was airborne; at which point, Jet2.com staff decided enough was enough and took the decision to remove the six for repeatedly failing to follow instructions.

Upon informing the six passengers of their decision, the remaining 12 in the party decided to offload too. Several of the group became extremely difficult when asked for baggage tag details, preventing our ground handling team from removing their bags, thus delaying everyone else. Eventually, the aircraft departed approximately an hour later than scheduled, minus 18 passengers.

We would like to apologise once again to all other customers for the delay and the inconvenience that this caused at the start of their holidays. However, we stand firmly by our position, that as a "family friendly" airline that carries millions of holidaymakers, including families with young children, we will not allow people on board if they are using or displaying offensive language and if they fail to comply with the instructions issued by our crew. A simple level of respect for fellow passengers isn’t too much to expect.

Jet2.com welcomes hen parties, stag parties, families, couples, groups, and individual travellers, if they understand and accept our "family friendly" policy and zero tolerance approach to disruptive or offensive behaviour. If not, then there is probably another airline willing to compromise its principles and the satisfaction of other customers for cheap self-promotion.

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