Qantas chairman mistakenly detained at Los Angeles airport

You think you’re having trouble getting through airport security? Try being the chairman of Qantas.

Margaret Jackson, chairman of the Australia based airline, was in Beijing Wednesday speaking to reporters when she told the story of how last year she was detained for an hour at Los Angeles International Airport.

She was carrying diagrams and blueprints of a new airplane design in her briefcase, and when airport security found them, they detained her.

“The guy said ‘Why have you got all of this?'” she told the Melbourne Herald Sun. “And I said, ‘I’m the chairman of an airline. I’m the chairman of Qantas.’ And this black guy, who was, like, eight foot tall, said, ‘But you’re a woman.'”

The “black guy,” identified only as Bill, then had his ass handed to him, as Jackson’s identity was proved, and she wrote him a note on airline letterhead saying, “Dear Bill, this is from the chairman of Qantas, who is a woman.”

Jackson was in Beijing to promote the introduction of non-stop service between Australia and China.

I’m not sure who Bill is, but I hope he was smart enough to take the lesson to heart. If I’d made a stupid mistake like that, I would have that letter framed and hung right over my fireplace to remind me that we aren’t all perfect.

One thought on “Qantas chairman mistakenly detained at Los Angeles airport

  • January 13, 2006 at 2:15 am

    Those crazy Aussies seem to use the word “chairman” regardless of the person’s actual gender. Which makes me wonder if perhaps people who work in airports should be required to actually have traveled more than 20 miles from home at some point in their lives–

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