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AC staff at SFO allegedly asked a 12yr old to remove her hijab before boarding

AC staff at SFO allegedly asked a 12yr old to remove her hijab before boarding

Old Aug 6, 19, 11:15 am
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AC staff at SFO allegedly asked a 12yr old to remove her hijab before boarding

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canad...aIP?li=AAggNb9

US national team 12 year old squash player allegedly asked to remove hijab before boarding at the gate (obviously post security).
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Old Aug 6, 19, 11:42 am
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Without yet reading the article, I thought all headwear had to be removed for boarding? Or is that just non-religious headwear (which would make the whole security aspect pointless)?

Edit: Having read the article, it focuses entirely "after I'd already passed through security", which is irrelevant.

I know hats must be removed for boarding, and my only question would be whether religious attire is exempted from this (which, again, means the whole policy is pointless).
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Old Aug 6, 19, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Without yet reading the article, I thought all headwear had to be removed for boarding? Or is that just non-religious headwear (which would make the whole security aspect pointless)?

Edit: Having read the article, it focuses entirely "after I'd already passed through security", which is irrelevant.

I know hats must be removed for boarding, and my only question would be whether religious attire is exempted from this (which, again, means the whole policy is pointless).
Can you link to a place where it states that headwear must be removed for boarding? I did a quick search of the Passenger Protect program and couldn't find anything about hats there, no less headscarves.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Can you link to a place where it states that headwear must be removed for boarding? I did a quick search of the Passenger Protect program and couldn't find anything about hats there, no less headscarves.
A quick search actually pointed me back at FT: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29634675-post8.html

That's probably where I'm remembering this from.

However, if your headwear prevents the GA from matching your face to your ID, it may not explicitly say "pax must remove hats", but the result would be the same.

I don't know if that's right or wrong, but if they asked white people to remove baseball hats as well (which was the topic of at least two other threads on this forum), then it wasn't racism. Insensitive, maybe. But not racism.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
A quick search actually pointed me back at FT: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29634675-post8.html

That's probably where I'm remembering this from.

However, if your headwear prevents the GA from matching your face to your ID, it may not explicitly say "pax must remove hats", but the result would be the same.

I don't know if that's right or wrong, but if they asked white people to remove baseball hats as well (which was the topic of at least two other threads on this forum), then it wasn't racism. Insensitive, maybe. But not racism.
Yep, I saw that too on my lookup. But I searched for any actual requirement and found plenty about id matching but nothing about headwear.
Headscarves don't have brims like baseball caps.. Are people required to remove a toque or, more analogous, a skullcap?
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Yep, I saw that too on my lookup. But I searched for any actual requirement and found plenty about id matching but nothing about headwear.
Headscarves don't have brims like baseball caps.. Are people required to remove a toque or, more analogous, a skullcap?
A skullcap doesn't really block any part of your face though. Given the threads I just pulled up on FT, then yes, I think people are required to remove a toque if it prevents the GA from verifying their identity.

Though now I'm reminded of the "passengers over 16 must present photo ID" announcements. Though I suspect the rules are different for international.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
A skullcap doesn't really block any part of your face though.
Does a headscarf really? In a way that it couldn't just be pushed aside to recall the full face? Hasn't AC already tacitly admitted that if it was a headscarf as we all think of one, not a veil, that their agents were likely overzealous? Let's not also forget this was a 12 year old girl.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:32 pm
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For AC's sake I am hoping that several people come forward and say they were asked to remove their hats prior to boarding.

CC would know best around here, but my experience with the SFO GAs is that they are militant about boarding process, bag size etc - more than most other places I have experienced. Perhaps this was just the enforcement of a (little known?) rule that is in place?

Edit to add: I really hate the general public on social media. It's all just bloody noise. There is ONE legitimate and "necessary" tweet - the sister's. Everyone else is just looking for their moment and having generally no idea what they're talking about. "AC is the worst airline for stuff like this" is based on what, exactly?
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:35 pm
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I believe religous headgear may have some finer points compared to a baseball cap. I do not think you can ask a Sikh to remove his turban. In any case, the passenger can request private screening which is easy to do at security checkpoint but much more difficult at the gate. A hijab does not cover the face. A burqa does cover the face.
May be a bigger issue here because she is a minor - there is no mention here about whether an accompanying adult (coach in this case) was present or asked for consent.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:38 pm
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Not sure CC would know best. I more inclined to think someone who flies many many many segments , and boards last usually, so they see others boarding.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:40 pm
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I'm all for a religious exemption, or at least an option where if ID is somehow hard to match then they can to go to a private spot (no men) to remove the covering for an ID match. Do not ask someone to remove a religious covering in a public place. I am highly in favour of protecting the rights of religious minorities. I'd better stop before I get too political for this forum...
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by RZR View Post
Not sure CC would know best. I more inclined to think someone who flies many many many segments , and boards last usually, so they see others boarding.
Fair point. Just couldn't think of anyone else with SFO as home base.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by WaytoomuchEurope View Post
For AC's sake I am hoping that several people come forward and say they were asked to remove their hats prior to boarding.

CC would know best around here, but my experience with the SFO GAs is that they are militant about boarding process, bag size etc - more than most other places I have experienced. Perhaps this was just the enforcement of a (little known?) rule that is in place?

Edit to add: I really hate the general public on social media. It's all just bloody noise. There is ONE legitimate and "necessary" tweet - the sister's. Everyone else is just looking for their moment and having generally no idea what they're talking about. "AC is the worst airline for stuff like this" is based on what, exactly?
I have seen AC GAs ask passenger to remove baseball caps. Not all the time, sometimes. Same for hoodies. As I said, I believe religous head gear is subject to different rules than cosmetic stuff like ball caps.
I have no idea what US federal or state law is on this issue. In Canada, its a lot more strict - I seem to recall a Sikh guy having his DUI tossed because of charter right violation - the cops pulled his turban off.
In this case it seem a bit over zealous to do this to a 12 year old. Since all they are checking at the gate is ID, not security.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:56 pm
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I’ve boarded Canada-bound flights from the US without ever having my ID checked at the gate. I was under the impression that the burden of identification (for lack of a better, real term) lies with TSA in the US and airlines’ gate agents in Canada*. If so, then the AC GA displayed an even greater lack of judgment than one may safely assume.

*I realize that I have routinely had my ID checked at the gate when boarding AC flights in the US. However, at the time of the incident above, I sought the interpretation of someone familiar with airport procedures and the takeaway was “the only necessary ID check at US airports must occur at security screening by a TSA agent.” Take that as you may.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 12:56 pm
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I rarely wear hats but the last 2 times this year I've been asked to remove them from the gate agent. One was a baseball cap and was a cowboy hat. As long as everyone else has to remove them, I don't see any issue regardless of age.
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