One of the world's best-known airlines has been forced into an embarrassing apology after it retweeted racial abuse to hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers.
British Airways customer Jae Ladd, of Asian origin, took to the microblogging site on Sunday to vent his frustration at the airline after his plans were interrupted.
"@British-Airways F... you. F...in cancelling my flight! #bunchofc..ts"
In response, Gordon Qiu tweeted: "Go back to your f...ing country you gook" - but the airline retweeted it to more than 200,000 followers.
Mr Qiu pondered about the state of affairs: "British Airways just retweeted me ... is this life".
An embarrassed airline later tweeted an apology.
"Apologies for the last RT. We are sorry for any offence caused and are investigating how this may have happened."
But Mr Qiu later told other users that the tweet exchange was one between friends.
"its a joke lool hes my friend."
- Sydney Morning Herald