Virgin Australia Has Denied Speculation It Faked A Hate Email To Promo Its Pride Flights

Virgin Australia pride flight tweet about hate email

Virgin Australia has strenuously denied speculation on Twitter that it faked a hate email for social clout. Instead, the airline maintains the email was genuine and was only shared to “shine a light on intolerant conduct”.

Virgin Australia shared a contentious screenshot on Twitter on Thursday morning that raised some eyebrows.

In the Tweet, the airline promoted its Pride Flight services — flights to Sydney for WorldPride celebrations on 24 February— by mocking a hateful email it had received about its public support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Virgin Australia captioned the screenshot of the email: “Thank you for the feedback, Karen. ICYMI, Pride Flight is on sale now”. It then linked out to tickets to Virgin’s Pride Flight.

virgin australia pride tweet hate email

The email, from people called Ian and Karen, was essentially a bitter rant about how the senders would no longer fly the airline due to its advertising campaign which featured drag queens. It included the words “depravity”, “mentally deranged” and “GET WOKE GO BROKE” — so you know exactly what kind of person sends this shit.

The tweet received mixed reactions. While some people celebrated it as a literal Karen getting publicly owned, others accused Virgin Australia of making up the email for social clout.

“The email is clearly fake,” one Twitter user wrote.

“It took exactly 30 minutes from email being sent to the media team to it being used for a marketing campaign. No airline does anything with customer complaints that fast.”

The tweet was deleted pretty much immediately after that, but by then a wider discourse had taken place.

“Yes, please support LGBTQI+, but don’t make up fake hate emails to sell airline tickets and then delete your post when called on it,” another Twitter user said.

Others accused Virgin of “creating fake hate speech to hawk Pride plane tickets”.

Virgin, however, has denied the email was fake and maintains it was shared with good intentions.

“The decision to post online disrespectful and hateful email communications about our Pride Flights was an error of judgement by our team,” a spokesman told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“Whilst the intention was to shine a light on this intolerant conduct, the reality was that it was an inappropriate thing to do.”