A Sikh asked to Deplane at LA airport
China Eastern Airlines
Depart: Sunday, Jan 03, 2016 from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia via Shanghai – Pu Dong airport
Flight number: MU 586 and MU 561
Rajinderpal Singh Gill, age 53 of Punjabi, Sikh heritage was onboard a China Eastern Airlines flight to Sydney, via Shanghai when airplane personnel requested that he deplane the aircraft due to some “concerns” that the flight crew and passengers shared with the flight captain. The airport personnel were accompanied by approximately 12 LAX-PD officers, whom refused to instruct Gill to deplane the aircraft as he had not violated any laws, or posed as a threat to others. However, the officers assured to the airline staff that in an event that Gill failed to follow the request to deplane, the officers would provide assistance.
Upon deplaning the aircraft, the China eastern customer staff refused to provide Gill with a legitimate answer as to why he was not the fly the purchased route. The police did not detain or question Gill whatsoever. Gill complied with all requests made by the airline and police, and called his son to let him know of the situation that unfolded. Once his sons arrived at the airport and spoke to airline personnel, Gill was presented with an option to cancel his ticket with a penalty. Upon the sons’ demand to speak with a manager or airline lawyer, the ground staff simply stated that all concerns must be submitted in a written fashion to the airline Headquarters.
Gill’s sons then spoke with the LAX- PD officers that responded to China Eastern’s original request. The officers explained that no reports were generated from the said incident as no laws were broken – police was just following a request from the airline to assist. Police personnel shared that China eastern wanted Mr Gill off the plane due to “business reasons” and agreed with the family that this was a case of passing judgement based on ethnic backgrounds.
Airline personnel at airport:
Gentleman – Kael Liu.
Lady – Carolyn Han