How a very important Australian ‘requested’ to board a Qantas plane before everyone else was late – delaying the entire flight and leaving 200 passengers furious
- Victorian Premier Linda Dessau asks for early boarding of Qantas flights
- However, when it came time to board the plane, she was nowhere to be found
- Passengers said about 200 passengers were waiting for Ms Dessau to arrive
- Governor’s office insists she didn’t expect other passengers to be delayed
- The Queen’s Funeral: All the latest royal news and reports
The Victorian premier has sparked an uproar after reportedly requesting to board a Qantas flight before other passengers caused the flight to be delayed because she was late.
On Wednesday morning, Linda Dessau reportedly asked to “early board” Qantas flight QF1518 from Melbourne to Canberra on her way to the Queen Elizabeth II National Monument at Parliament House on Wednesday morning.
However, Ms Dessau was nowhere to be seen within minutes of when she was supposed to board the plane – much to the confusion of other airline passengers waiting anxiously at the gate.
Witnesses said flight attendants rushed to start boarding as queues began to grow, but Qantas bosses insisted they wait until Ms Dessau was seated.
A passenger overheard a Qantas employee say “I called the chairman lounge a long time ago but she just won’t come”.
Victoria’s Deputy Crown Prince Linda Dessau (pictured) asked her to board a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Canberra before anyone else
Passengers queue for VIP boarding but she is nowhere to be found (above – stock image)
Qantas customer Imre told Radio 2GB he was lining up to board and had “never seen an episode like this”.
“Everyone was there, the plane was there, all the previous passengers had disembarked.
“The flight attendants seemed keen to get everyone on the plane, but when we were about to board they said ‘no, sorry, we need to wait for some kind of VIP’.”
“I feel sorry for the flight attendants. They were walking around and looking down the corridor to see if this VIP was coming.
When Victoria’s Deputy King finally arrived at the gate with her entourage, other passengers couldn’t recognize her.
“Eventually, after 20 minutes, someone showed up (who) no one seemed to recognize in the queue,” he told the show.
Ms Dessau waited for her flight in the exclusive chairman’s lounge (pictured) at Melbourne Airport, while other passengers groaned at the gate
The passenger said when all passengers actually boarded the plane, they had to line up in front of Ms Dessau, who was seated in the business class seat.
“When people walk by, they say ‘who is (she)’ and I’ve never seen that person before.”
“If everyone was on the plane, you would probably understand that because the VIP was late and they needed to get them on the plane before it took off.”
“But don’t let anyone on the plane until they get on the plane first? Not sure if it’s royal etiquette or something…”
Flight records show that the flight took off successfully 14 minutes after the scheduled departure time.
In a statement provided to The Australian’s margin call column, the premier’s office insisted she was not hanging out in the chairman’s lounge.
Ms Dessau will travel to Canberra for Queen Elizabeth II’s national memorial service (above – Ms Dessau speaks to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews at the ceremony)
Ms Dessau was reportedly lost in the terminal for some reason.
A spokeswoman told the paper, “Neither the governor nor her staff have requested or expected any passengers to delay boarding.”
“The governor and her party left the lounge without delay when asked to proceed to the gate.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Qantas and the Premier’s office for comment.
Ms Dessau is one of Australia’s six Premiers and serves as a royal representative in Australia.