Friday, August 25, 2006

racism in the air?

In light of my recent trip to the US, flown of course on KLM/Northwest because the airline has a direct flight to Detroit, Shailaja and I noted that the KLM crew was rude and sarcastic in dealing with several Indian passengers. At the time, I figured they'd had a long day or week in Delhi--I know I had. But now I'm starting to wonder. Yes, we all know India's airline ettiquette is a little different from Europe's or America's--e.g. here it's totally kosher to press your call button immediately and ask for something like a glass of water or cotton wool when the staff is trying to deal with getting everybody on board. And some behaviors, like trying to clamber through the 3 inches between the seat and the drinks cart, are just plain annoying.

Still, one has to ask if this is another Hair-raising instance of double standard for brown folks, with the stews deciding to teach their habitually unruly passengers a lesson. What say you all -- Are the international carriers racial profilers, or just plain racist? One friend, for instance, claims he NEVER gets the obligatory "buh-BYE."


Anonymous said...

KLM is the most racist ariline i have ever travelled on. They have the rudest on-flight staff. Just recently one of my relative had an arguement with dutch passanger and the airline crew without even bothering to know what the matter was; started threatening my relative with stern police action. I am going to start an online petition and encourage all Indians to boycott the hitler airline.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jason ,

I an a freelancer ,contributing articles to leading publications.I would like you to pay a visit to my blog I agree that such knee -jerk reactions would make the matter worse by promoting divisive tendencies . Anyway , neither hand of providence nor convulated responses would sabotage the network of al-Qaida .The American dilemma is futher compounded by its dubious stand on 'war on terror'. The way al-Qaida is devicing new ways and means to punish its enemies should make it clear to US and its allies that full-proof strategies ,devoid of bias , have become need of the hour. One is ,indeed, baffled over the superpowers' inability to wipe out the devilish empire of jehadi operatives .

Yours Arvind

Writer's Address:
Arvind K. Pandey
H. No.- 36 B/8/178, Bhavapur,
Allahabad -211016
U.P., India.
Telephone No.- 0532-2617458

Anonymous said...

At least the KLM staff were only rude in your experience. Right now there is a Somali-Canadian woman who has been stuck in Kenya for the last three months. KLM airline has been mentioned as having started the accusation that has left this woman stuck in Kafka like circumstances. Read all about it:

Unknown said...

I recently flw from Guatemala city (central America) to the UK, through Panama City. KLM denied me and my 2 year old daughter to board the plain claiming I needed an Invitation from the director of customs in the Netherlands, this was a lie and completely untrue and the staff told me to leave the counter because they had no time for me. Next day i contacted this guy at and he told me they have never heard of an invitation and now that I sent my complaint KLM told me that they are very sorry but they cannot refund the money i spent on hotels and food thanks to their mistake. I will make sure I get as much people as possible not to travell with KLM in fact I will start a blog to let you all know how racist and imcompetent they are. KLM has a bad service on air, on land and to top it up in Panama they dont have facilities to change babies in the toilets so they made me change he diaper IN THE FLOOR! if that is nor racist i dont know what it is. Anyone that has a solution or an advice?