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Friday, April 05, 2013

Damned if they do, damned if they don't

A French court has fined Air France for banning a 'flytilla' 'activist' from boarding a flight to Tel Aviv after Israeli authorities put the 'activist' on a list of undesirables who would not be admitted to the country.
The incident happened during what was dubbed by the media the "flytilla" campaign in April 2012 - when hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists sought to fly to Israel and then make their way to the occupied West Bank.
Shortly before take-off last April, Ms Ankour, a 30-year-old nursing student, was asked by an Air France employee whether she had an Israeli passport or was Jewish.
She answered "No" to both questions, and was then escorted off the plane.
The French court on Thursday concluded this was a clear-cut case of racial discrimination.
In its defence, the French flagship carrier argued that it was only at the last minute that it had realised Ms Ankour was blacklisted by Israel.
The company said it had therefore asked her to leave - in line with an international convention that allowed airlines to refuse transporting passengers who it knew would not be accepted at the point of entry.
It seems the fault in law was for the company to have asked Ms Ankour about her ethnic origins and to have made this the apparent reason for her forced disembarkation, the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris reports.
Well, yeah, they were pretty foolish to ask the question that way. But if an airline transports someone to an international destination point and they are not allowed into the country, guess who has to pay to transport them back to the point of origin? Yup, the airline.... 

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At 3:33 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

I'm not a lawyer but seems to me what Air France, and other airlines for that matter, should do when they have a passenger who's on the blacklist, inform the passenger of that fact so the onus isn't on the airline BEFORE THE INDIVIDUAL IS ALLOWED TO BOARD, require them to buy a round-trip ticket. The round trip portion should be immediately refundable, should the passenger either gain entry or take another airline back.

If the individual refuses to buy a round-trip ticket, don't allow him/her to board.

I suppose now the "victim" troublemaker will get damage$ from Air France. They shouldn't be allowed to game the system that way, nor should they be allowed a free return ride at the airline's expense.


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