Tuesday, June 18, 2024

United Airlines employee racism in Athens

Susan and I flew United Airlines flight 423 from Athens to Chicago on June 17. Ahead of us in the baggage check-in line was a group of 25 teenagers and chaperones (coincidentally booked on UA423). UA averaged five minutes per teen to scan a passport and check a bag. No others were scrutinized to this extent; when Susan and I reached the counter, it took us only a minute. The delay with the teens bogged down baggage check-in for 40 minutes, causing some customers to be late enough that they may have missed their flights. Later, the departure seating area had an additional passport check and security desk. Most customers were passed in easily, but not those unfortunate teens. Their carry-ons were opened and their bodies were scanned with security wands. This scrutiny was performed by uniformed United Airlines personnel, not the police. This scrutiny was undoubtedly due to the brown color of the skin of most of the teens. The teens behaved impeccably; they endured demeaning and unnecessary bureaucratic and physical mistreatment, then moved along with straight faces to the next racist UA employee.

UA owes an apology to the teen group and a mitigation plan to avoid employee racism worldwide.

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