[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t seems like Airlines can’t fix their racism problem. Air travel is a necessary way for people to get anywhere to conduct business or to visit to their families. For others, it’s an exciting chance to explore
unfamiliar places and experience new things. But for some people, it’s far from certain that they will be
able to access and enjoy air travel without discrimination.
Recently, in a shocking incident reported on board one of the most well-known airlines globally, a British
Airways crew offloaded an Indian family, just because their three-year-old son was crying. This unsavoury
incident took place on British Airways London-Berlin flight (BA 8495) on July 23. The father of the child
has written to aviation minister Suresh Prabhu, alleging “humiliation and racial behaviour” by the airline.
He said, his family and another other Indian family, which had offered biscuits to his son, were offloaded from
the flight. And then a crew member came and shouted at his son that ‘you bloody keep quiet otherwise
you will be thrown out of the window’. The family then made its own arrangement to travel from London
City airport to London.
Such incidents have been on the rise off late. Here is a list of 6 incidents of racial discrimination by Airlines.
An Asian man’s refusal to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight led to a disturbing scene. A passenger was forcibly removed from the Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Several passengers recorded the incident on their phones and posted video on social media showing three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragging the man, who has not been identified, down the aisle by the arms and legs while other passengers shout in protest. He continued to resist after he was removed and ran back onto the airplane, face bloodied from the encounter.
On May 2, 2017, two women travelling on an American Airlines flight from Kentucky to Charlotte claimed members of staff were “racist” towards one of them. Rane Baldwin, who is African American, was flying with friend Janet Novack, who is white. Baldwin – an AAdvantage Platinum Select/World Elite cardholder – had purchased the two tickets and decided to upgrade them both tofirst class.
However, when they were issued their boarding passes, she was instructed to go to the back of the plane despite her frequent flyer status, while Novack, who holds no status with the airline, was directed to first class.
Baldwin was told her seat had been reassigned because there weren’t enough first class seats available. Baldwin tried to complain to a member of cabin crew about her seat reassignment but was completely ignored. Meanwhile, Novack was asking the same questions and raising the same concerns, but
receiving a completely different response just because of the difference between their colour complexion.
Briana Williams, a young black mother and third-year Harvard Law student from Los Angeles, and her newborn were kicked off an American Airlines flight after Williams asked if airline personnel could bring her the infant’s stroller when passengers were asked to get off the plane following a five-hour delay.
For the safety of her baby, Williams wanted the stroller so she didn’t have to balance a newborn and
three carry-on bags.
A Muslim student Khairuldeen Makhroomi was ejected from Southwest Airlines plane after speaking Arabic.
He was an American citizen, who came to the US as an Iraqi refugee, he spoke in Arabic to his uncle in Baghdad during a brief phone call while waiting after boarding the plane. Then, he was publicly humiliated, searched and interrogated for hours after being removed from the flight before take-off at Los Angeles International Airport.
He was released soon but Southwest refused to rebook him on another flight and instead refunded his ticket. He later flew home on Delta Air Lines.
Singer Jason Deruloalso faced racial discrimination by an American Airlines employees. He used his
Instagram account to complain about alleged mistreatment as he and his entourage were attempting to
travel from Miami to Los Angeles.
Derulo said he is a “concierge key” member on the airline and the employee who was checking their baggage was unaware of how many bags those members are
allowed. A dispute occurred, the singer said, when a member of his group who tried to check their 19
pieces of luggage was told the fee would be $6,000. Derulo said he and his entourage were already on
the flight and had to disembark when he was informed of the dispute.
At that time, Derulo claims, the pilot used profanity and ordered them off the plane.The situation calmed once authorities learned he was a celebrity.
In 2017, Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March, changed her seat assignment at an American Airlines kiosk and had a boarding pass as proof.
But at the gate, the American Airlines attendant said she had already given that seat to another passenger, who was white.
When Mallory complained, the attendant brought in the pilot, who told her she had no choice but to accept the other seat and asked her if she was going to behave herself on his flight. Mallory said she didn’t appreciate being spoken to like she was a child. But she agreed to accept the seat and asked for the names of all involved to follow up later. At that point, the pilot ejected her from the plane.
When a black travelling companion offered his seat, he was ejected, too. Interestingly, when a white passenger also offered up his seat to her, he was allowed to remain on the plane.