Gay couple ‘humiliated’ by Emirates staff in Dubai

Emirates issues apology to couple and calls for internal review

News Desk June 16, 2016
UAE officers walk in front of Emirates Airbus A380 plane at the Dubai Airshow, in this file photo taken November 8, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

A British gay couple were allegedly humiliated by Emirates staff at Dubai airport after being asked if they were brothers.

Lee Charlton, 42, from Manchester claims Emirates check-in staff laughed at him and his partner when they confirmed they were a couple while travelling from Dubai to Durban with their son Kieran.

According to Charleston, a woman working behind the check-in counter at Dubai airport gave him “quizzical looks” and summoned her manager after asking him whether either Jason or Kieran were his brothers.

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The couple and their son were then taken to an airport back room and left there for two hours and told that their documentation would not allow them to enter South Africa. They nearly missed their connecting flight and were forced to rush across the large airport to catch it just in time, despite originally having a three-hour stop over.

The 42-year-old posted the complaint on his Facebook page, saying, “I am really amazed at the small mindedness of your handling team in Dubai. I have not felt so embarrassed like this because of my sexuality since I was younger. You really need to give culture training to your teams as Dubai is one of the biggest airports in the world and gay people who have adopted will become more frequent.”

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“I could understand this with ground staff who do not work for Emirates but these were your handling staff. Please do something with this email I would be happy to help as I would never want anyone else to go through the same experience. It isn't nice,” he added.

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Emirates replied to the complaint, saying, “Hi Lee, we’re sorry to hear you feel this way. We’ll highlight your feedback to our Airport Service team for an internal review. Thanks.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Dubai and gay people have been handed jail sentences of up to two years in the past.

This article originally appeared on Independent.


ahmed41 | 7 years ago | Reply @gp65: "......Being gay is not a choice, it is an orientation people are born with...'" Yes, their orientation has to do with hormones and biochemicals .........these are factors that occurred at the time of embryonic growth. Homosexuality is observable even in the animal world . All this is not governable or controllable by mere religious laws. Societies have tried through religion to ban it. Has it ever worked, down history ? Leave the Almighty to handle it . He knows best.
Mohammed Abbasi | 7 years ago | Reply Some very sad and judgmental comments here. They were humiliated by the staff of Emirates and thats it. How would you feel if you were insulted because you are Pakistani by Emirates???
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