Two lesbian women have hit out at travel group Flight Centre for asking them to pay hundreds in cancellation fees to Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA).
Shannon, 26, and Jaqueline, 28, from Australia booked the flights with RBA with a stopover in Brunei last month through Flight Centre. However, after learning about the implementation of Sharia Law – which would see gay and bisexual men stoned to death and queer women face public lashing – they cancelled.
Flight Centre agreed to waive the cancellation fees. The group informed the pair they still needed to pay a $300AUS ($213.42/€190.08) to Royal Brunei Airlines.
Shannon is outraged Flight Centre are not covering these fees too.
‘It’s not that we cant afford the cancellation fees. It’s just that it’s them putting a price on our life and that isn’t right,’ she told news.com.au.
‘Being a second-class citizen on a holiday? I don’t need to do that.’
She said she feared being targeted on the four-hour stopover or during the flight.
A spokesperson for Flight Centre told the news site that they cannot waive the fees from RBA.
Backlash against the Sultan’s businesses
Royal Brunei Airlines is a budget airline owned by the Brunei government. The news comes as calls come to boycott properties owned by the billionaire ruler, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
Among his portfolio of businesses is the Dorchester Collection. These are high-end hotels often populated by celebrities and the super-rich. They are often used for prestigious events too.
A protest against one of the most well-known hotels, The Dorchester in London, is set to take place on Saturday (6 April).
Swiss travel company, STA Travel, have stopped selling flights through the airline.