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Scottish Teen Prevented From Boarding Etihad Flight Due to “Sickly” Appearance

A Scottish teen was recently prevented from boarding an Etihad Airways flight because airline staff thought she looked ill. Grace Wain, 14, was headed to Maldives with her family when she arrived at Manchester Airport (MAN) on July 6. The family was preparing to catch a connecting flight to Abu Dhabi when an agent at the check-in counter singled Grace out.

“One of the Etihad check-in girls made the decision that she wasn’t fit to fly based on the fact she was pale in color and was leaning against her mum,” Grace’s father, Paul, told the Daily Record. “Even after an airport medical staff member performed a check-up and determined she was fit to fly, the airline still demanded a doctor’s letter.”

Paul says his children were reduced to tears at MAN when the airline refused to relent. “I told [airline personnel], ‘We live in Scotland.’ She is a redhead and she has a pale complexion. That’s just the ways she is.”

The family was ultimately able to obtain a doctor’s note and satisfy Etihad staff in time to catch their flight, but they suspect their ordeal wasn’t about Grace being “too pale” or sick looking — but rather an attempt by the airline to compensate for an oversold cabin by grounding passengers.

Etihad has since issued an apology to the Wains.

[Photo: Daily Record]

Comments are Closed.
weero July 15, 2015

These ME3 carriers copy everything from the Western airlines, even the tricks to avoid IDB compensation. And I thought that the Euro carriers had a business patent on using faux health and visa denied boarding rituals.

Brendan88 July 15, 2015

According to other news sources. Another thing in which Etihad made there holydays even better; there suitcases arrived 3 days later to the Maldives.

Indelaware July 15, 2015

A stupid action by the EY agent, but no more stupid that the passenger's father referring to the EY agent as a "girl." Poor Grace has double reason to be embarrassed -- she was mistreated by the agent and her father is a misogynist.

bhrubin July 15, 2015

I would love to see an arbitration panel or UK/EU/US policy established where airlines that make such stupid decisions must compensate the slighted passenger with a free award ticket of comparable value to anywhere in the world the airline flies. IMO, Etihad should have already offered this anyway...but it would be nice if they were forced to compensate in this way to press airlines to better train and expect staff to provide better customer service. If you want to fly to the industrialized world, you have to put up with the expectation that you deliver and don't discriminate.

PaulRO July 14, 2015

Etihad deserve a lifetime boycoit, Arrogance, ignorance and rants are basis to run an airline., Their ugly greed shames them. Be gone with you. A plague on your aircraft and on your staff training policy.