Either United Airlines is trying to rebrand itself as a whites-only airline, or its employees must have the IQs of sand slugs. In today’s “United drags a person of color off an airplane” news, United Airlines detained a Mexican passenger because the airline thought he might be “trafficking” the little girl who was traveling with him.
The girl was his daughter.
According to People magazine, Maura Furfey—who is of Irish descent—was headed to the airport to pick up her husband and 3-year-old daughter from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey when she received a phone call informing her that there had been an incident on the plane. Because Furfey’s daughter was returning from a family vacation in Cancún, Mexico, she rushed to the airport to discover that her husband had been detained by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
It turns out that a United passenger thought that Furley’s daughter was too “fair-skinned” to be with her Mexican father, and alerted the airline that he might be involved in “trafficking.” When the plane landed, United asked the passengers to stay on the plane while the CBP officers pulled Furley’s husband off for questioning. “This passenger had no basis for this claim, nor any evidence to back it up,” said Furley, who told her story to the Huffington Post on April 17.
While everything turned out OK (except for the part about being publicly humiliated and accused of a felony literally because of the color of his skin), United offered the man a $100 voucher—because I’m sure he’s so anxious to hop back on another United flight.
As for the passenger who reported the incident—too bad she couldn’t go to Washington, D.C., and help find those missing girls (no, we haven’t forgotten).