A British Airways passenger claims the carrier subjected him to “humiliation and racism” after a crew member allegedly threatened to throw his 3-year-old son out of the window as he was crying constantly during boarding and taxiing.
This story which misses a ton of details surfaced in the western media today after it already created waves in Indian social media after the father complained to the Indian Minister of Transport.
You can access the case on Sky News (see here).
Indians are threatening to boycott British Airways after a family claimed they were thrown off one of its planes because their child was crying.
The father, an Indian civil servant called AP Pathak, has accused the airline of racism as he claimed a crew member threatened to throw his three-year-old son out of the window if he did not stop crying. Mr Pathak said his family were offloaded, as well as another Indian family sitting behind them who had offered his son a biscuit.
British Airways said the family were repeatedly asked to sit their child down and fasten his seatbelt, as it was stopping the plane from taking off.
In a letter of complaint to India’s aviation minister, Suresh Prabhu, Mr Pathak said he was subjected to “humiliation and racial behaviour” on the flight from London City to Berlin on 23 July.
Mr Pathak said his child started crying when placed in his seat before take-off so his wife took the child in her arms to comfort him. He claimed a male crew member “started shouting and scolded my son” – and said his child was “terrified and started crying inconsolably”.
As the aircraft started taxiing, Mr Pathak said: “The same crew member came again and shouted at my son that ‘you keep quiet otherwise you will be thrown out of the window’ and we would be offloaded.
Mr Pathak said the plane then returned to the terminal and security officers came onto the plane, took away their boarding cards and those of the Indian family behind them, then marched them off the aircraft.
In the letter, the civil servant added: “The crew member made racist remarks and used words like ‘bloody’ about Indians.” Indians on social media have called for a boycott of Britain’s national carrier, with many calling the incident “shameful”. …
Vani M Manokaran said what BA did “was absolutely right”, while Khushi said: “Indian parents start howling too when kids start howling – three-year-olds outside India are taught how to behave socially.”
Unless this ticket actually started in India (which I doubt considering the flight originated from London City Airport – although BA sometimes sells connections like this) I don’t see the point why someone would complain to the Indian Transport Ministry?
I don’t believe for a second that a crew member said the child will be ‘thrown out of the window’. That’s nothing but exaggerated nonsense and I’m usually nobody who jumps to the defense of cabin crew members. Such behavior simply doesn’t make any sense.
In any case it sounds very much like entitled parents who didn’t follow the instructions of the crew and instead try to blame others for their failure to comply with instructions and exhibit proper behavior of themselves and their children on board of an aircraft.
Getting kicked of a flight in Europe isn’t all that common unless there is a valid reason for it, the main reason being is that the airlines better have damn good proof or they are liable for EC261/2004 compensation.