How a very important Australian demanded to board a Qantas flight before anyone else – then turned up LATE – delayed an entire flight and left 200 passengers fuming
- Victoria Governor Linda Dessau requested to board a Qantas flight early
- But when it came to boarding, she was nowhere to be found
- About 200 passengers were waiting for Mrs. Dessau to arrive, the passenger says
- The governor’s office insists she did not expect other passengers to be delayed
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The state governor of Victoria sparked an uproar after she allegedly asked to board a Qantas flight before other passengers – leading to the flight being delayed because she was late.
Linda Dessau allegedly requested to ‘pre-board’ Qantas flight QF1518 from Melbourne to Canberra ahead of other passengers on Wednesday morning while en route to the Queen Elizabeth II National Memorial at Parliament House.
But Ms Dessau was reportedly nowhere to be seen for several minutes – much to the consternation of other plane passengers anxiously waiting at the boarding gate.
Flight attendants were eager to begin the boarding process as the queue began to swell, but Qantas bosses insisted they wait until Ms Dessau had been seated.
A passenger overheard a Qantas employee saying ‘I called the Chairman’s Lounge a long time ago but she just doesn’t come’.
Viceroy of the Crown in Victoria Linda Dessau (pictured) demanded she board her Qantas flight from Melbourne to Canberra ahead of everyone else
Passengers lined up waiting for the VIP to board the plane, but she was nowhere to be found (above – stock photo)
Qantas customer Imre told Radio 2GB he was queuing to board the flight and had ‘never seen anything like’ the episode.
‘Everyone is there, the plane is there, all the passengers who were previously on had disembarked.
‘The flight attendants seemed keen to get everyone on the plane, but as we were about to board they said “no, sorry, we have to wait for a VIP of some sort”.
‘I felt sorry for the air hostesses. They were kind of pacing up and down looking down the corridor to try and see if this VIP was coming.’
When Victoria’s vice-regal representative finally arrived at the gate with her entourage, other passengers were unable to identify her.
“Finally, after 20 minutes, someone appeared (who) no one seemed to recognize in the queue,” he told the show.
Ms Dessau waited for her flight in Melbourne Airport’s exclusive Chairman’s Lounge (pictured) while other passengers hit it off at the boarding gate
Mrs Dessau was on her way to Canberra to attend the national memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II (Above – Mrs Dessau speaks with Victorian Premier Dan Andrews at the service)
The passenger said that when all the passengers actually boarded, they had to drive past Ms. Dessau as she sat in her business class seat.
“When people walked by they said ‘who is (she)’, I’ve never seen that person before.”
‘You might understand if everyone is on the plane and they held it for a few minutes because the VIP was late and they had to put them on before it took off.
“But don’t let anyone on the plane until they get on first? I don’t know if it’s royal protocol or something…’
The plane managed to get away 14 minutes after its scheduled departure time, flight records said.
“Finally, after 20 minutes, someone appeared (whom) no one seemed to recognize in the queue,” one Qantas passenger said of Ms Dessau’s (pictured) arrival at the boarding gate
In a statement to The Australian‘s Margin Call column, the governor’s office insisted she wasn’t messing around in the Chairman’s Lounge.
It has been reported that Mrs. Dessau was somehow lost in the terminal.
“Neither the governor nor her staff requested or expected any passengers to be delayed boarding the flight,” a spokeswoman told the newspaper.
‘There was no delay in the governor and her party leaving the lounge when they were asked to come to the gate.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted both Qantas and the governor’s office for comment.
Ms Dessau is one of six state governors in Australia who work as representatives of the Crown in Australia.