A Russian airline told five Asian Americans stranded in Moscow that they would be deported to India despite being US citizens, according to a racist discrimination complaint filed by the group's lawyers.
Passengers traveled from Delhi to JFK International Airport on January 7, but their connecting flight was canceled during a stopover in the Russian capital due to adverse weather conditions in New York – where heavy snow planes had crashed.
An Aeroflot employee at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow said: The passengers, all from South Asian descent, have to board a flight to Delhi on their own or being deported to India by officials, the Independent reported.
The airline told the group that there was no way of arranging alternative travel arrangements to New York, despite the fact that white American passengers who had been on the same flight from Delhi were alleged. The group also said the airline had not offered them accommodation in Moscow and also refused to issue transit visas, which meant they could not leave the airport and had to leave the airport land within 24 hours
In an attempt to solve the situation, the people were ringing Passengers the US Embassy in Moscow. The liaison officer told them that it was illegal for them to be forcibly deported to a third country and asked to speak with Aeroflot staff. However, the airline refused to "make matters worse" by criminally deporting them or forcing them to heavy fines.
Fearing for their safety, the five passengers finally returned to Delhi with other Asian passengers. Once there, they were told that there are no longer any Aeroflot flights leaving for New York for more than a week, forcing four of them to spend thousands of dollars traveling home on alternative routes.
One member of the group, Anshul Agrawal, returned to Miami just under a week later on an Aeroflot flight.
"Because of the lies and racism I faced I lost a week's work (I can not go on vacation this year) and was faced with tremendous mental stress," Agrawal wrote in a Facebook post. "Aeroflot has scarred me, I have videos and testimonies from passengers to prove these incidents."
Following the incident, the passengers – Marc Fernandes, Shahana Islam, Sabiha Islam, Bakiul Islam and Agrawal – notified the law firm Lewis Baach and civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, who have jointly filed an official complaint with the US Department of Transportation.
"Aeroflot's treatment of American citizens was not only unfair and unfair, but also violated Aeroflot's internal protocols, as well as aviation and non-aviation Commenting on the Independent Aeroflot, he said: "We have clearly missed our usual high standards of service in this incident, which took place more than two months ago, and we have indeed turned to Deutsche Telekom. de.guildwars.com/pvp/article/primer_synergy2 / However, our thorough internal investigation revealed that this was not discrimination based on appearance, and we did not refuse to do so in characterizing the complaint. "