The South Asian Times

22 March 2019 10:25 AM

Aeroflot diverted NYC-bound Indian-American passengers to India

New York: Five passengers have filed a complaint against Aeroflot after the airline forced them to take a flight to Delhi instead of New York City.

According to Fox News, the Indian American passengers claimed they were forced by Aeroflot Airlines to board the flight because of their dark skin. They were connecting in Moscow on January 7 before their final destination to JFK airport.

Their flight to New York was canceled due to inclement weather and left the group stuck in Moscow. They tried to book other flights but were told that no seats were available.

However, the group wrote in their complaint that the airline staff booked alternative connections for America bound passengers with light skin.

The airline staff asked the stranded passengers to go back to India on a later flight or be “deported” by Russian officials because they did not have travel visas. According to Russian law, passengers can only remain in the country for 24 hours without visas.

The passengers contacted the US embassy, which was not able to contact the airline.

After landing in New Delhi, the 5 harried passengers discovered there were no Aeroflot flights to NYC for a week. Four of them spent thousands of dollars booking flights on Qatar airline to the US. The fifth flew six days later with Aeroflot.

Aeroflot released a statement claiming that they did not discriminate against the passengers and followed protocol: “We clearly fell short of our customary high standards of service in this incident, which occurred more than two months ago, and indeed we contacted the passengers immediately afterward to offer our apologies. However, our thorough internal investigation established that this was not a case of discrimination based on appearance, and we do not accept this characterization in the complaint.”

Update: 04 April, 2018