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United, based on pax complaint, calls police on false report of child trafficking

United, based on pax complaint, calls police on false report of child trafficking

Old Apr 18, 2017, 11:20 am
  #46  
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Neither UA nor the FA's did anything incorrect here. In the ordinary course of events, the complainant would have called the cops, but that doesn't work mid-air.

The rest is about how CBP and the Port Authority handled the situation. We only have one side of that story. But, if the situation was handled improperly, it is for CBP and the Port Authority to discipline and train the personnel.

Imagine the howls on FT had UA not even notified CBP and the complainant posted here that he suspected human trafficking, notified the FA, the FA did nothing and now the child is off being abused.

UA doesn't need proof and it isn't UA's job to conduct an investigation. When someone reports their suspicion of a crime, UA calls the cops. Period.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 11:23 am
  #47  
 
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This is a tough situation. There is very little cultural tolerance for (potential) crimes against children, including trafficking or abuse. There are professions that are legally obligated to report any suspicion. While the aviation industry is excluded, they take human trafficking seriously and there are many occurrences where a flight attendant's report has led to traffickers being caught.

It is not appropriate for United to validate or dismiss a passengers suspicion. Their responsibility is to pass the report on to the authorities so the situation can be investigated on the ground.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 11:27 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by JMontpelier
Many people, myself included, do not have the same last name as their children. I've gotten suspicious (and insensitive) questions when traveling internationally with my children. That's why it's a good idea to carry original birth certificates and a notarized letter and from your spouse.
+1, or ex-spouse :-)
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 12:36 pm
  #49  
 
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Not everyone with a child has a living spouse or ex spouse
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 1:00 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by JMontpelier
That's why it's a good idea to carry original birth certificates and a notarized letter and from your spouse.
Shouldn't the passport be enough? IIRC my passport contained the full names of both my parents back in the day (long, long time ago). But back in the day, you could still travel on your parents passport as well. That option's gone for a couple years (or decades?) now.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 1:11 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by WorldLux
Shouldn't the passport be enough? IIRC my passport contained the full names of both my parents back in the day (long, long time ago). But back in the day, you could still travel on your parents passport as well. That option's gone for a couple years (or decades?) now.
That is not enough with a younger kid (say under 10-11) and you had better have a birth certificate and notarized statement. The worry outbound is parents in a custody dispute leaving the US. Mexico will require similar proof for the same reason. I have not had problems on recent trips, but my kids have my last name and are old enough not to draw attention. But with Younger kids the airlines demand some proof upon leaving the US of authorization. A passport is not enough.

I might add one further detail, which is that you can't get a passport with only one parent, DOS needs to personally see BOTH parents to issue or reissue a passport.

I have no doubt that UA's computer systems had all of the proof this was not child trafficing, no one bothered to look, instead acting on racial stereotyping.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 1:11 pm
  #52  
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Some sick racist used the flight crew's prejudicial stereotyping against their target.
The day I read a case where this happens on an American carrier to a white American family on the word of a foreigner is the day I'll abandon my sense of the dynamic at play here.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 1:16 pm
  #53  
 
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Remember when you used to be able to call a LEO to de-escalate situations and make sure everyone was safe?
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 1:37 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by spin88
...DOS needs to personally see BOTH parents to issue or reissue a passport.

I have no doubt that UA's computer systems had all of the proof this was not child trafficing, no one bothered to look, instead acting on racial stereotyping.
What if only one parent is alive?

it may not be racial stereotyping, if the child did look different, I can sort of understand, but if they had all the documents, why the need to call police?
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 2:25 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by JMontpelier
Many people, myself included, do not have the same last name as their children. I've gotten suspicious (and insensitive) questions when traveling internationally with my children. That's why it's a good idea to carry original birth certificates and a notarized letter and from your spouse.
I understand that whole name issue. My daughter-in-law kept her maiden name, my grandchildren use my son's last name so there could be issues for them too, except our granddaughter looks like a clone of her parents... Yes, it is a real problem but I believe that the staff should have checked passports before over reacting.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 2:41 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by gene2632
Yes, it is a real problem but I believe that the staff should have checked passports before over reacting.
Right, then we would have a thread about overreaching FA's asking to see "our papers".

Once a question of Child Trafficking entered the FA's minds, they had no ethical/moral choice other than pass it on to the appropriate authorities to investigate. The FA's have no knowledge of the other passengers prejudices/motivations. Hard to believe they are being slammed by many for erring on the side of caution.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 2:45 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyngSvyr
Right, then we would have a thread about overreaching FA's asking to see "our papers".
too true
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 3:29 pm
  #58  
 
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Why would you comment before reading the specifics?

Originally Posted by FlyngSvyr
Again, I stated I did not read the specifics of this case (I will now). I just want to reiterate that Human Trafficking using airlines is a BIG problem. The knee jerk reactions from many posters that IT (Human Trafficking) is none of UA's business just rubbed me the wrong way.

Reading any story written during this "slam" UA period is getting tiresome.
All the media outlets concentrate on is the negative slant to any story about UA. Maybe the writer could include some of the background information on the Human Trafficking problem to bring context to the situation. They might also list the protocols that airline personnel are REQUIRED to follow when this happens. At least then the reader can make an informed decision about what they are reading.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 4:04 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by wrp96
The father in this story DID have a notarized letter that was examined at check-in. What else was he supposed to do?
In today's political and social environment, he shouldn't have married a woman of Irish background. How sad.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 4:41 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage
Interesting and timely article here:

http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/...for1-1701.html


There are laws requiring medical professionals to report possible/suspected cases of child abuse, and it appears that these laws have been amended to include child trafficking. It may well be that similar laws apply to airline personnel in possible/suspected child trafficking as well; I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

In this case, the airline personnel were stuck between a rock and a hard place. The nosy passenger reported what he/she thought was possible child trafficking to the FA. Was the FA supposed to then perform the function of a LEO and make the determination of whether the allegation was true? I don't think anyone would want that. Once the allegation was made, I don't think the airline had any choice but to involve LEOs.

As in child abuse mandatory reporting, innocent people got caught up in the web until they could be cleared by investigation. I've witnessed a couple of cases of this in possible abuse cases.

Safe travels,

Doc
Yeah. The problem isn't with the FA, but rather with how the cops handle such reports.
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