01 June 2009

Indian passengers avoid flying Air France to avoid discrimination at Paris (Flying While Brown)

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

Well here is another story that we may start to see on a reoccurring basis. Here in the U.S. as an African American and as of recent if your Mexican especially here in the border states to Mexico you understand and know the term "racial profiling." Blacks in America have always been subject to racial profiling or better known as "D.W.B." or "Driving While Black" and now the latest change in the terminology here in Arizona especially we are now hearing the term refered to as "Driving While Brown" and it is usually directed at or referring to illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Well here is my addition to the english vernacular, "F.W.B" or "Flying While Brown!" Indian passengers were poorly treated by Air France and by the loop holes of the securities and immagration rules, these passengers were denied food, water (until a protest started), and hotel accomodations that the airline was at fault for. AF025 had some type of mechanical problem with the aircraft and it delayed the flight and caused passengers to miss their flight.

It is looking like as tensions grow more volitale in India, I think we will see more transgretions towards people from India if the situations in India and relationships with other countries if relationships don't get any better.

People of color already understand this type of discrimination here in the U.S. and now it looks like that same type of discrimination is moving abroad!

Remember, Be Proactive, Not Reactive and Don't Be A Victim!!!

(read the story below)

Indian passengers complain of discrimination by Air FranceMumbai A fortnight after over 50 Indian passengers alleged they were victims of racial profiling while flying Air France, ten Indians, travelling by the same airline, met a similar fate when they were stranded for an entire night in a Paris airport lounge.

The Indians, flying to Mumbai from Washington via Paris, complained that they were confined to the lounge on Monday with just some water and a sandwich after their plane reached Paris late from Washington and they could not board the connecting flight to Mumbai.

The passengers of the flight AF025 alleged that while they had to remain at the airport, people with American passports were given transit visas, provided accommodation and taken care of.
Complaining of discrimination and insensitivity towards them, a passenger Gwyneth Alphonso said, “We were not put on the immediate connecting flight on the same day. We were told that we have to just adjust within the environment. (Those) who held American passports were given visas and accommodation and were taken care of. But we who had Indian passports were the only ones to be denied any kind of help at that place”.

The passengers said the airline extended an apology to the passengers through an SMS.
Over 50 Indian passengers had on May 12 accused Air France of ‘racial’ profiling at Paris airport where they were stuck while in transit after their aircraft developed a technical problem, a charge denied by the airline.

The passengers said their plane had left Washington three hours behind schedule due to a technical problem and that they had barely 20 minutes in hand after arrival in Paris to take their connecting flight to Mumbai. They said they just could not make it to the connecting flight.
Another passenger Jagdish Patankar, who had to spent the night in the ’sanitised’ area at the airport, said, “It shows total insensitivity towards the incidence. For six hours, we were in that area. We were provided with water, were not provided with juice or food or anything. We were all there just stranded.”

The passengers said they were finally put on a flight to Mumbai after they protested.

Narrating the latest ordeal, Jagdish Patankar, 47, said:

"We boarded flight AF-025 on May 24 at 6:45pm at Dulles Airport in Washington. But the pilot said the flight had developed a snag and we were deplaned."
It took the airline three hours to rectify the snag. The flight with 174 passengers on board finally took off at 9:45pm (7:15am IST), said Patankar, managing director of a Worli-based event management company, MM Activ.
The flight landed at de Gaulle Airport at 10:20am (1:50pm IST) on May 25, but the Indians missed their 10:45am (2:15pm IST) connecting flights to Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. "Our troubles began soon after,"
Patankar said.

The airline, he said, told the passengers that the next connecting flight to Mumbai was 24 hours later and they would have to spend the night at the airport. "While our European co-passengers were given hotel accommodation, the airline said the police had denied transit visas to Indians," said Gwyneth Alphonso, 39, another Indian who got stuck in Paris.

No airline official attended to them from 11am (2.30pm IST) to 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) and they had to go without food and water, the Indians said. "It was clearly discrimination against us as Europeans were treated well and we were left to wait at the airport," she alleged.
"There was a cafeteria, but we needed to clear security checks to go there.

Since our passports and visas were with the airline, we couldn't even buy food," Alphonso said. Among the passengers were a diabetic, Dr P Mathew Varghese, and a 65-year-old woman with her 15-month-old granddaughter. "We literally begged for chocolates and other eatables from international passengers who were passing by to get something for Dr Varghese and the baby," Alphonso said.
The Indians then ran out of patience and protested, forcing the airline to give them a 200ml water bottle and half-a-sandwich each.

"We demanded that the airline put us on the next connecting flight to Dubai," Patankar said. Air France put them on flight AF-530 from Paris to Dubai, which was to leave at 11:20pm (2:50pm IST).
"Even this flight had a technical snag and left an hour late. But we reached Dubai around 8:52am local time (10:52am IST), just in time to catch the Emirates EK-506 Dubai-Mumbai flight," Patankar said.
Other Indians took flights to Bangalore and Delhi. Some of the passengers landed at Mumbai airport at 2pm on May 26 but without their baggage. "I got my luggage on May 27, but certain items were missing," Patankar said.

When contacted, an Air France spokesperson blamed the trouble on visa formalities imposed by the French police but said none of the Indian passengers had to spend the night at Paris airport. The spokesperson, in an emailed statement, promised to investigate the matter and try and improve transit procedures at de Gaulle Airport.
(Original Story)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That story just makes me feel sick that a certain group of people were treated so poorly. Air France and French authorities SHAME ON YOU. How can anyone with any decency impose that on passengers? I'm off to register my disgust via letter.