A senior IAS officer has written to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu alleging racial discrimination by British Airways after he was allegedly thrown out by the airline in the London-Berlin flight.
AP Pathak wrote to Prabhu alleging that he was deplaned with his family on 23 July moments the before take-off because his three-year-old son was crying on board. In his letter, written on 3 August, Pathak wrote that another Indian family, sitting behind them, was also offloaded as they offered biscuits to the child to console him.
His letter said, “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.”
He added, “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.” He alleged that when the plane started moving towards the runway, the crew member came back, shouting, “You bloody keep quiet, otherwise you would be thrown out of the window.”
Pathak is a joint secretary-level officer in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
He later told news agency ANI that he had given a letter to Prabhu and External Affaitrs Minister 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 the harassment of an Indian,” Pathak told ANI.
British Airways spokesperson rubbished the allegations adding that they did not ‘tolerate’ any racial discrimination. “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,” PTI quoted a British Airways official as saying.