How a very important Australian ‘claimed’ to board a Qantas flight before anyone else then boarded late – delaying an entire flight and upsetting 200 passengers
Victoria Governor Linda Dessau requested to board a Qantas flight early but, when boarding came, she was nowhere to be found. About 200 passengers were waiting for Ms Dessau to arrive, the passenger said. Latest news and coverage of the Royal Family
Victoria’s state governor sparked uproar after he asked to board a Qantas flight ahead of other passengers – causing the flight to be delayed because he was running late.
Linda Dessau requested to ‘pre-board’ Qantas flight QF1518 from Melbourne to Canberra ahead of other passengers as she made her way to the Queen Elizabeth II National Memorial at Parliament House on Wednesday morning.
However, Ms Dessau was nowhere to be found for several minutes when she was due to board the plane – much to the dismay of other airline passengers waiting anxiously at the gate.
Flight attendants were eager to begin the boarding process as the line began to swell, but Qantas bosses insisted they wait until Ms Dessau was seated, witnesses said.
A passenger heard a Qantas employee say ‘I called the chairman’s lounge a long time ago but he’s not coming’.
Victoria Linda, Vice-Regal Authority of the Crown at Dessau (pictured), demanded she board the Qantas flight from Melbourne to Canberra before everyone else.
Passengers lined up waiting to board the VIP plane but he was nowhere to be found (above – a stock photo).
Qantas customer Imre told Radio 2GB he was queuing to board the flight and had ‘not seen anything like it’.
‘Everyone is there, the plane is there, all the passengers who were there before have disembarked.
‘The air hostesses seemed keen to get everyone on the flight but as we were about to board they said “No, sorry, we have to wait for some sort of VIP”.
‘I feel sorry for the air hostesses. They were walking up and down, peeking down the corridor to see if this VIP was coming.’
When Victoria’s vice-regal representative finally arrived at the gate with his entourage, the other passengers did not recognize him.
‘Finally, after 20 minutes, someone (whom) in the queue didn’t seem to recognize him,’ he told the show.
Ms Dessau was waiting for her flight in Melbourne Airport’s exclusive Chairman’s Lounge (pictured), while other passengers made it to the boarding gate.
The passenger said that when all the passengers actually boarded they had to pass Miss Dessau as she sat in her business class seat.
‘When people were walking past, they were saying “Who (is) him”, I’ve never seen that person before.”
‘You might understand if everyone is on the plane and they hold it for a few minutes because the VIPs are running late and they have to get them before it takes off.
But not allowing anyone to board the plane before boarding? I don’t know if it’s royal protocol or something…’
The flight managed to depart 14 minutes after its scheduled departure time, flight records said.
In a statement to The Australian’s Margin Call column, the governor’s office insisted he was not sitting in the chairman’s lounge.
Ms Dessau heads to Canberra to attend the National Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II (Above – Ms Dessau speaks at the service with Victorian Premier Dan Andrews)
It was reported that Ms. Dessau had somehow gotten lost in the terminal.
A spokesman told the newspaper, ‘Neither the governor nor his staff requested or expected any passengers to delay boarding.’
‘There was no delay in leaving the lounge when the governor and his party were requested to proceed to the gate.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted both Qantas and the governor’s office for comment.
Miss Dessau is one of six Australian state governors who act as representatives of the Crown in Australia.