Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Airline frowns on gown

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A new bride heading to New Zealand for her wedding photos was told she wasn't allowed to hang her gown on board.

The woman, who has not been named, was part of a growing trend of "wedding photo tourism" where the bride and groom go to another country for their wedding photos.

But a photographer from Singapore said he had to cancel a shoot in December because Singapore Airlines refused to let his client hang her bridal gown on board its Auckland-bound aircraft.

"It's a $25,000 designer wedding gown complete with diamonds, pearls and sequins, and SIA told us we had to fold it up and put it into one of its plastic bags if we wanted to bring it on board. It's just totally absurd," he said.

As SIA is the only airline with direct flights from Singapore to Auckland, the couple had to cancel their trip and instead flew Thai Airways, which acceded their request, to Thailand for their wedding shoot.

The photographer, who comes to New Zealand regularly for wedding assignments on a visitor's visa, did not want to be named because he did not want to be "marked" by Immigration.

Couples usually spend upwards of $20,000 for shoots in New Zealand, excluding air fares and photographers fee, he said.

Last month, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that a would-be bride's request to hang her bridal gown on board an Australian-bound flight was also turned down. The bride's mother, Robyn Lewis, said her daughter was told it could be a security risk.

SIA said it was unable to comment as it had not received any official complaints on either incident.

The airline's call centre and airport staff are instructed to inform all passengers wishing to take their wedding dress on board as cabin baggage to be aware that it did not have hanging facilities.

SIA passenger marketing manager Murray Wild said SIA would allow passengers to hang a bridal gown if space was available.

- NZ Herald

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