Man sues airline for disgusting in-flight meal surprise


A Queensland man is suing Qantas after he claims he almost ate a hypodermic needle that was in his butter chicken on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney.

Ben Sabeto, 51, from Bribie Island said he spat out a mouthful of his meal into a serviette after he felt a sharp prick on his tongue.

The serviette was photographed and shows some of Sabeto’s blood alongside curry and the needle.

A Qantas spokesman told Travel at 60 they had informed Sabeto they rejected his claim “based on reports by our crew onboard the aircraft as well as an investigation of our catering supplier.”

The spokesperson said there is no evidence to show that a syringe was in the meal at any stage during preparation in the catering centre or onboard.

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“His meal was scanned twice in a metal detector machine and any foreign object such as a syringe would have been identified. The machine was found to be working normally,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

“As the syringe had a piece of plastic at the end of it, the plastic would show signs of melting as the meal was heated in the galley oven before being served.”

The crew also reported the passenger was acting very strangely throughout the flight and spent the majority of the time pushing his food around on his tray.

“The customer choose to sit several rows away from other passengers and was identified by three different crew members to be acting agitated and oddly,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

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Sabeto has launched a case with the NSW District Court against Qantas, represented by Shine Lawyers, and will be attempting to claim the full scope of damages under the law.

Shine Lawyers’ solicitor David Adams said, “Having come across a myriad of obscure cases in the past, I can confidently say that I have not come across a case such as this before — and can only sympathise with Ben for the amount of stress and anxiety he has had to endure because of this incident.”

“I find the reaction of Qantas is severely inadequate. I find that at the very least Benjamin requires an apology of some sort and some sort of admission of liability,” Adams said.

It’s reported that Sebeto has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression after the incident.

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Watch the video below to see Sebeto comment on the claim.

The public have taken to social media to express their scepticism for Mr Sabeto’s claims, with many venting the opinion he is “trying to get a quick buck from Qantas.”

“I call BS on his story,” one user wrote. “There’s no evidence. I highly doubt anyone from catering put it there.”

“One would have seen that before putting it in one’s mouth!” said another.

Qantas were contacted for further comments but did not respond by the time of publishing.

What do you think of the case? Let us know in the comments below. 

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