An Indian couple on board the British Airways flight from London to Berlin, BA 8495, was allegedly offloaded from their plane as their three-year-old toddler was crying.
The family alleged that the child’s mother was able to pacify him when the flight was taxiing prior to the take-off. It was reportedly the behaviour of the cabin crew that scared the child, causing him to cry in distress all over again.
The aircraft was made to return to the terminal, and the couple in question was offloaded along with a few Indians sitting behind them. The incident occurred on July 23, but is being reported only now.
The family in question is that of an Indian Engineering Services official working in the transport ministry.
Allegations of racism
The father of the toddler has now written to Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, complaining about the matter. He has said he suffered racism and humiliation at the hands of the British airways staff on board the flight.
According to reports, the letter explains the events leading up to the offloading as follows.
A male cabin crew member allegedly started shouting at the family and scolded the child. “My son got terrified and started crying (inconsolably),” the man wrote.
Another Indian family sitting behind them offered the three-year-old some biscuits to distract and pacify him too. The boy’s mother then put him into his designated seat and fastened the seat belt although the child was still crying.
The letter says that after the aircraft began taxiing, “Same crew member came again and shouted at my son that ‘you bloody keep quiet otherwise you will be thrown out of the window’ and we would be offloaded.”
The plane was then returned to the terminal, the family’s boarding passes taken away. Security was called and the couple and child, along with the other Indian family who had offered biscuits to the toddler, were asked to deplane.
The man alleges in his letter to Prabhu that the crew member in question also made “racist remarks” and used terms such as “bloody” for Indians. “I request to have the matter investigated and take strictest possible action,” he wrote.
Airline assures investigation
According to reports, British Airways is in touch with the complainant and also issued a statement saying that they have no tolerance for discrimination.
“We take such claims like this extremely seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have started a full investigation and are in direct contact with the customer,” a British Airways spokesperson told media outlets.
Source: The News Minute