Man Loses Job After Demanding Only White Flight Attendants Serve Him on British Airways

Flight attendants often ask premium cabin passengers whether they want to be woken for breakfast or not. To me it depends on the length of the flight, what I’m doing once I hit the ground, and candidly the quality of the breakfast. I’ve also been on airlines where you’re supposed to leave out a card indicating one way or another, that way flight attendants consult the card rather than remembering if you want to be woken.

On a British Airways flight in business class I’m not super inclined, even in first class I’ve never been impressed by their breakfasts. However on a nearly 12 hour flight it’s unlikely I’ll be sleeping. The best service is going to make it possible to eat something very close to arrival, and I’ll probably be woken by breakfast service going on around me in any case.

Some people are really grumpy when they’re woken for breakfast at the end of a long flight. And some people are racist.

A “boozy” IT consultant “racially abused” a British Airways flight attendant on a London Heathrow – Rio de Janeiro flight last year and has been fined $7371 split between court costs, penalty, and $614 compensation to a flight attendant.

The man was perturbed over being woken for his breakfast order in business class and “went off on a racist rant.”

You Asians think you are better than us, I don’t want to be served by you lot. I’ve paid your wages for the last 20 years.

The man continued, demanding “services in the future only from the white member of the crew.” The crewmember was ‘reduced to tears’ according to court testimony.

He no longer works for the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company.

His attorney mounted the following defense:

  • The passenger was tired
  • He wasn’t being racist, just insisting on being served by a different flight attendant
  • There’s no proof he was actually drunk
  • His family is the real victim here, the man’s wife “suffered from stress due to the allegation” and he lost his job. They’re not even welcome at their kids’ school anymore. The man and his wife are New Zealanders and even considered moving back there.

Maybe this isn’t the strangest part of the story, but it strikes me that the racist would demand that minorities serve him, not that they not be allowed to perform in servile roles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wow, that is ridiculous behavior – the context behind his rant further proves he was a racist from the start, and his supposed tiredness and drunkenness further amplified his underlying views. I hope he realizes there are consequences for actions, and that his views are outdated and myopic.

  2. James is a dipshit to think this is condoned in America. Plenty of people speak up against this behavior in the US.

  3. What an idiot! When one is travelling on corporate business, you are representative of the company. Why do these people forget this? I would not be surprised if Glaxo has contract fares with BA. This kind of behavior can jeopardize that contract. This guy exposed his racist qualities and Glaxo did not want that type of person as its representative. Easy decision on Glaxo’s part.

  4. in other news, a british kiwi business class traveller recruited to be the new us secretary of homeland security.

  5. Not sure why above commentators think this is an American or Trumpian behavior – This kind of casual racism is ingrained and for the most part the norm in Australia and New Zealand – particularly towards those of Asian descent.

  6. Was he really a Glaxo employee? Sounded like he was an independent contractor whose business relationship with Glaxo wasn’t as an employee of the big pharma company at the time of this BA flight. Or was that an outdated news story?

  7. What Hendrik wrote is true. Yes, it is an unfortunate fact that condescending racial bias against people of Asian descent is very common in Australia and New Zealand. If you study the history of those two countries in the 70’s-90’s, many in their population were strongly opposed to immigration from Asian countries but welcomed with open arms immigrants and visitors from Europe and especially the US. Even my white Australian friends in the US confirmed this.

  8. @Hendrick, Here’s why I think the passenger was displaying Trumpian behavior. Charlottesville. Judge Curiel. Central Park Five. Housing discrimination. Obama’s birth certificate and fixation with reversing everything Obama did. Trump’s standard “low IQ” insults for Black Americans? Shithole countries. The wall and Mexican rapists and drug dealers, etc. etc. etc. etc.. Those data points support an obvious conclusion about the person responsible for them. To your point though, racism is not uniquely Trumpian or American.

  9. If you read the other articles, I am trying to figure out how the “breadwinner” (his wife’s words) of the family is living in a 1.2 million £ house in the UK when he only makes 78k £ a year as an “IT consultant” (BTW, must not be a good one…thats pretty low)

  10. Good for him that he lost his job that racist b*stard. He should end up in jail. New zealand people are racists.

  11. @John. I still think you are a relatively reasonable person. Ramsey’s one of yours. Make a racist slur when you are drunk, go to “jail.” Plus he says: “New Zealand people are racists”. No doubt that Ramsey means they should all go to JAIL. John, he is your guy. Do you support him? I think his over the top rhetoric is typical of the leftist mindset.

  12. I am an Asian American. I am occasionally at the receiving end of racist comments. I have to say more people made racist remarks to me in the 10 days I was in New Zealand than my 30 years in the U.S., even during my morning run when I was in my own free space. The Trumpian behavior is efficiently reported, but the daily racist attacks by regular people (anywhere) are not exposed.

  13. @Ramsey – Your first sentence was dead on correct. On the second, jailing people for racism is impractical, since education is the answer. Besides, would you really want to imprison a sizeable portion of your population? As to your last sentence, that’s ridiculously broad to the point that you lose all validity for the point you were trying to make.

  14. if thats the misters preference why argue about it ? as i might preffer mango over oranges he also has to have the right to be served by white preety female attendant . He would indeed be racist if served by a woman of color. have we already forgot about the southern states slavery ? The customer is boss since is who pays. Nowadays attendents show very little patience , get insulted even by the air and sometimes show nazi attitude . Its less and less allowed to argue with them, they threat back . A dictature of ignorant dumbheads. I wouldnt be then surprised to discover that the judge was a feminist who has mold around her cunt

  15. @Christian. Let me get this straight. Essentially you agree with Ramsey. It is just you are more nuanced about it. You want “education”. Are you suggesting that he should be sent to a re-education camp? You mean like in communist countries. I guess being sent to a re-education camp is better than being put in jail, or being shot.

    @John, Christian is one of yours. John, do you have any friends that say stupid things when drunk. They should lose their jobs according to Christian. Do you agree with that? Should they be sent to re-education camps. Do you support that?

  16. You should suffer if u abuse others especially on racist comments , because u dnt think way as human ,doesnt matter how your family right now its all on you …dnt think your money makes u great ,u should have huminity ,learn it from others

  17. @ OJS, I don’t know Ramsey or Christian. Christian’s comment sounds good to me. Education and knowledge are the best ways to combat racism which is usually based on ignorance. He says nothing about re-education camps.

  18. @Other Just Saying – I can’t figure if you’re being intentionally obtuse or just trolling. Trolling, I suppose. I never said camps of any type, but you seem a fan. As to losing a job for publicly announcing your racism, I’d say that’s justified. Oh, just for the record, I’m not a leftist, so don’t bother with that moniker.

  19. @Christian: “I’m not a leftist”. You sound like what. Ok, I will bite, why do you think you are not a leftist.

    Ok, so no camps. You are more to “educate” the lessor people with your enlightenment. Sorry, you really sound like a leftist.

  20. I was planning to ignore this post. But when Ramsey went on his rant, I could not resist.
    –So you have this guy from New Zealand, he goes on a rant according to report.
    –He might have been inebriated.
    –He did not assault anyone.
    –He did not kill anyone.
    –We do not know what exactly set him off.
    –He just opened his mouth and a bunch of cr*p came out according to the newspaper report.
    –None of us know this person at all.
    –Yet everyone is passing judgement on his whole person.
    –Further, people start passing judgment on New Zealand culture.
    –And then start talking about an education program.
    This is what we have come to. Global rage mobs. Off with his head said the red queen in Alice and Wonderland. But this is real.

  21. @Other Just Saying
    I guess you don’t understand what “assault” means. And I guess your criteria for something is serious is somebody died. Wonderful.

  22. @James said “You can tell this was not in America, where this behavior is condoned”. You are an anti-American creep. Shut your pie-hole and go back to your safe space. I guess that is a micro-aggression assault and you are going to recommend arresting me.

  23. @Other Just Saying – Being against racism is pretty universal except for the far right wing. For that matter, every Republican president in the last 50 years before this one has denounced racism, so it’s hardly the purview of the left. I’ve been an Independent for decades, specifically because I chose not to be lumped in with either group. Fiscally I’m old school Republican, while socially I lean Democrat. This guy’s douchbaggery is pretty evident regardless of political affiliation.

  24. @Christian. Did you vote Romney or Obama? McCain or Obama?

    Also, you are LYING when you say that Trump has not “denounced racism”. He has many….many times, because the mainstream media asks him that question on a daily basis.

  25. @Christian: “Being against racism is pretty universal except for the far right wing.” You lefties pretending to be independent shooting off your mouth with implied charges of racism really disgust me. Maybe you are compensating for your own deep seated racism by calling other people racist.

  26. @Hendrik, @Jacob
    Absolute pure, unadulterated , deceitful BS. The pattern of migration to Aus/NZ in that period was NOT marked by anti-Asian sentiment, other that those right wing nutters who continue to oppose migration ( ie, those in Australia who vote for One Nation @ 3% of the nation vote).
    There was bipartisan support for increasing migration from Asia, supported by the overwhelming majority of the population. There is almost universal agreement the the country has been a much better place as a consequence of it.
    Please don’t continue to peddle this ignorant crap, based it would seem on something someone told you rather than any direct knowledge.

  27. I have been reading all the above comments…some have been supporting this man and coming up with excuses to cover up for his misbehavior while the others are condoning it..
    Well everyone is free to express his own views and the employer is also free to do as they feel.Right?
    Well then the company has decided to end his services. No company wants to be represented by an egoist individual who grants…raves and insults individuals while they are representing the company on a business trip… I too am a flight attendant and have encountered individuals like these….I put my hands together and clap for the just decision the company has taken….well done.

  28. @Other Just Saying – Hey, if you want to defend racism, that’s your prerogative. I do admire that you don’t try to hide your racism like most racists, you’re just upfront about it. I dislike what you are as a result of this racism, but respect your conviction of belief.

  29. History tell you the truth
    black people never invade any white people country rather they help to others to save the world & humanity read any religion and you will find your answer.

  30. Hey, Christian (aka Douchbag). I am not a racist. Nor am I defending racism. None of you even know what is in consultant’s heart. Moreover, everybody has biases that could easily be considered racism.

    Yet, the Douchbag feels entitled to judge the man and find him guilty. Being a kind and compassionate overlord, Douchbag want to re-educate the man. Ramsey takes it to the next step and wants put the perp in jail and go after all New Zealanders. This is a really slippery slope. Next you lefty creeps are going to endorse a sanctions against all white people New Zealander. Maybe a UN mission to New Zealand to push for the removal of all white people in New Zealand. Why, because according the lefty lunatics white men in New Zealand are vestiges of colonialism, should be reversed, and relegated to the dustbin of failed history. “History tell you the truth”, or so they say.

    Moreover, well over half the people on this blog joined the worldwide rage mob. This man said a forbidden words according to the British Air. He has been punished. What the hell, thought crimes are now worse than robbery, rape, murder. You guys are full on nuts. He got punished. His family got punished. Move on tyrannical creeps.

  31. @James the anti-American. I am not defending the man. I do not know the man. I was not there. I do not know what is in his heart.

    However, I am against the French Revolution mob rule guillotine style justice. Historians call that period the “Reign of Terror”.

    I feel like I am in a Nero style Roman Colosseum. Turn to the mob: Thumbs up, he lives. Thumbs down, he dies.

  32. Last one, then football. Why am I calling Christian a Douchbag. Because he called President Trump one. Turnaround is always fair play.

  33. @Hendrik
    The so-called white Australia policy was a relic from C19, when EVERY western country introduced restrictions on immigration from China after mass arrivals during resource booms. Many of those restrictions lasted well into C20, including the USA ( with California the most zealous of all states).
    You are utterly clueless in ‘understanding’ the current situation in Australia and NZ
    ,yet feel compelled to offer opinions based on that profound ignorance,

  34. I have been flying for nearly 49 years since 1970 in various airlines in economy, business & first class.
    I never felt the reason to lose my cool ever whatever the reason or circumstances.I have seen many passengers lose their cool & felt really sorry for their mindset.
    I just had one expectation always a safe & pleasant flight for all.

  35. Love that this happened on a British Airways flight by a British citizen & they’re saying Americans act this way…..Ha! Right back to the days where the EMPIRE ravaged country after country, kidnapping & killing those whose skin color wasn’t white. Sure other countries followed but the sweeping arm of the Empire has bigoted it’s way far beyond any other country’s reach!
    I’ve traveled abroad & seen the worst human behavior come from those idiots who believe they’re civilized. When they’re actually still recycling the old British claim to fame…we’re better than anyone else & yes we started this history of holier than thou & are still repeating it!!
    Can’t wait to see Brexit break it all down.

  36. @James you must be from the White House or from Parliament since you do not know what your are talking about. Americans do NOT approve of that behavior only small minded individuals like you do.

  37. @john
    All of your “Trump examples” were reported in sick and twisted ways by the DNC owned media. Obviously that’s where you got your information. Had you had half an open mind and thought to actually research this information before assimilating it into your “personal opinion” or like myself, were present at most of the events you referenced, you’d be accurately informed on what was said and in what context and would be able to opine with some modicom of intelligence.
    It’s the furthering of uniformed “spew” that is at the heart of the current political problem in the U.S.
    Namely, the mindless echoing of the hate pouring forth from the DNC and leftist socialist DNC media!!!
    Please don’t exacerbate it

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