In a shocking incident, a senior bureaucrat of the government has alleged he and his family was deplaned from a British Airways flight minutes before take off, because this three-year old son was crying. The bureaucrat was travelling from London to Berlin and has accused the airlines of ‘racial discrimination’ and ‘rude behaviour’.
The incident happened on July 23.
“We were travelling to Berlin from London on British Airways. Our son started crying, a flight attendant came and threatened to offload us if our kid doesn't keep quiet and after a while, he called security and we were offloaded,” the passenger said.
We were travelling to Berlin from London in British Airways, Our son started crying and a flight attendant came and threatened to offload us if our kid doesn't keep quiet and after a while, he called security and we were offloaded: A.P Pathak, Passenger pic.twitter.com/gFm47qgOIw— ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2018
In a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on August 3, the bureaucrat has demanded a thorough investigation and strictest possible action against the British Airways staff.
In the letter, he alleged another Indian family sitting behind them was also offloaded as they offered biscuits to the child to console him.
He added the security personnel took away their boarding passes after the flight (BA 8495) returned to the tarmac.
“I have written a letter to Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and EAM Sushma Swaraj and have complained to British Airways, but they have not replied yet. It was an act of racial discrimination, I request an apology and compensation for harassment of an Indian,” said the passenger.
I have given a letter to Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and EAM Sushma Swaraj and complained to British Airways but they have not replied yet, it was an act of racial discrimination, I request an apology and compensation for harassment of an Indian: A.P Pathak, Passenger pic.twitter.com/6bb5wekgaZ— ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2018
The family was not provided reasons for being offloaded, nor any action was taken by the management against the crew despite lodging a complaint, he claimed.
"We had to make our own arrangements for staying and travelling to Berlin the next day by paying a very hefty amount," he said.
The other Indian family was given tickets for a flight the next day, without any accommodation though, the bureaucrat added.
"We take such claims very seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have started a full investigation and are in contact with the customer," said a British Airways spokesperson on the incident.
The bureaucrat also said an "aggrieved" crew member approached them while their son was crying and scolded the boy, asking him to get back to his seat. The boy had a window seat, but the mother had taken him into her arms to console him.
"With this unusual behaviour of the male crew member, my son got terrified and started crying intensively. My wife again put the boy on his designated seat and fastened the seat-belt, even though he kept on crying intensively being in a terrified state of mind due to the scolding by the male crew member," the officer wrote to Prabhu.
As the plane started moving towards the runway, the crew member came back and shouted, “you bloody keep quiet, otherwise you would be thrown out of the window,” the bureaucrat alleged.