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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, 6:55 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by FlyngSvyr
Human Trafficking is a HUGE problem and airplanes are routinely used to transport the girls. All FAs & airline employees receive training to spot the signs and react accordingly.

Don't know the particulars in this case, but I would rather the occasional innocent person be inconvenienced than a human trafficker slip through with their victim.
Didn't the US founding fathers say something like that -- "Better to 'inconvenience' a hundred innocent people rather than let a guilty one go free?"

Oh, wait, it is was the other way round.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 7:14 pm
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by malgudi
Why would you comment before reading the specifics?
At least I admitted it... There are many posts on FT where it is painfully obvious the posters have not read the lengthy thread or educated themselves on an issue before they post

I just wanted to emphasize the human trafficking problem. It is an issue that does not receive enough social awareness. Our Church sponsors a shelter in the Houston area for victims of Human Trafficking. It is a sobering experience to hear their stories.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 7:25 pm
  #63  
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Flight crews aren't trained to make judgments, interview witnesses, potential child victims, and have no authority to do anything.

The crew's sole action here was to relay the passenger's report to the proper law enforcement authorities and not insert their judgment between the passenger's and law enforcement's.

How law enforcement handled the matter has nothing to do with the passenger who made the report or UA.

People traffick in kids who do and don't look like them, are and are not of the same ethnic origin, do and do not speak English. Most of the comments simply aren't helpful.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 7:32 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Often1
Flight crews aren't trained to make judgments, interview witnesses, potential child victims, and have no authority to do anything.

The crew's sole action here was to relay the passenger's report to the proper law enforcement authorities and not insert their judgment between the passenger's and law enforcement's.
Why is the flight crew getting involved in a situation where they have so little competence? The suspicious pax could report it to LEO themselves.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 7:55 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell
Why is the flight crew getting involved in a situation where they have so little competence? The suspicious pax could report it to LEO themselves.
If the passenger reports their suspicions to a crew member during a flight, what is the crew supposed to do?
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 7:56 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by fly18725
If the passenger reports their suspicions to a crew member during a flight, what is the crew supposed to do?
Crew that "aren't trained to make judgments, interview witnesses, potential child victims, and have no authority to do anything"? Tell the pax to report it to LEO.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell
Crew that "aren't trained to make judgments, interview witnesses, potential child victims, and have no authority to do anything"? Tell the pax to report it to LEO.
How does a passenger report its suspicions to a LEO in-flight?
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 8:08 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Giggleswick
Actually, it isn't hearsay, which has a very specific meaning. It appears to have been a wildly unjustified racist assumption based on the father and daughter's appearance. But not hearsay.

I have been asked for a consent to travel form three different times while traveling alone with my mixed race children. I am white; is it still racism?

Airline crews are trained to look for child trafficking and abductions as an extra layer of protection since customs/immigration officials clearly don't catch all victims, and two of the most common signs are children traveling with only one adult and children that don't resemble the adult they are traveling with. Regardless of his race, this guy ticks both boxes, and so do I. I'm perfectly okay with being challenged. I'm not doing anything wrong and I can easily prove that they are my children and that my husband has consented to our travel outside of the US. Once that evidence is presented, we go on with our travel, no worse for the wear. I'm glad airlines and border officials are looking out for victims, and if my children were ever abducted, I would hope airlines would follow up on a passenger's suspicions and border control would question anyone with them. I'm guessing once they've passed border control, the chances of ever finding them decrease drastically.

Interestingly, last summer there was a post in the AA forum related to this (I've read some, but not all of this thread, so apologies if someone has already referenced this). A family was traveling together and the poster was upset that the AA FA insisted that her son answer her question (about his meal or something) instead of his mother answering for him. The AA posters blasted her because they said the FA was just following her training and looking for signs of trafficking and also criticized her for not warning the airline in advance that her son was on the autism spectrum, but high functioning (if you don't need special services, why would you request them????). It's curious that people would defend an AA FA trying to figure out if a child was being abducted by herself instead of passing along her suspicions to the proper authorities, but United is condemned for passing along a fellow passenger's suspicions (which were easily sorted out by contacting the mother) to the proper authorities.

Last edited by princeville; Apr 18, 2017 at 8:14 pm
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 8:12 pm
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell
Why is the flight crew getting involved in a situation where they have so little competence? The suspicious pax could report it to LEO themselves.
How is the PAX going to do that? Send an e-mail?

The crew did the right thing. Let's applaud them.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 8:49 pm
  #70  
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Originally Posted by mduell
Crew that "aren't trained to make judgments, interview witnesses, potential child victims, and have no authority to do anything"? Tell the pax to report it to LEO.
Passenger tells LEO, Passenger tells UA employee who tells LEO, what's the difference? And as other stated, how is a passenger who is onboard going to contact LEO? Passenger calls 911 but the person they are accusing is long gone before LEO arrives as the reporter can't hold them. Tell the FA and they can hold up the passenger for LEO. If UA knows nothing about it how can they hold people for LEO arrival. How many passengers know the direct phone number to airport police? by the time it made it through the 911 process the plane could be at the gate and passengers disembarked before LEO arrives. Tell UA and the LEO's will be waiting at the gate. Much more direct contact for LEO.

Law enforcement has tried to ingrain in us see something that doesn't look right report it. In that passengers eyes something did not look right. They did what they thought was right by reporting it to someone who could call LEO.

Could UA have spent time looking at who the passenger was reporting to see the if there was an explanation? Sure. But how many times has one parent kidnapped their child from the parent that has custody, plenty of times. Yes, this time there was nothing of concern, but what about the time there is?

Last edited by Baze; Apr 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 8:50 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by fly18725
How does a passenger report its suspicions to a LEO in-flight?
Wait until you land and call 911. Even better, follow them to immigration and tell the officer what you think. If you're intoxicated and a racist, you'll likely be in immigration jail for a few hours and you totally deserve it.

Originally Posted by princeville
I have been asked for a consent to travel form three different times while traveling alone with my mixed race children. I am white; is it still racism?

Airline crews are trained to look for child trafficking and abductions as an extra layer of protection since customs/immigration officials clearly don't catch all victims, and two of the most common signs are children traveling with only one adult and children that don't resemble the adult they are traveling with. Regardless of his race, this guy ticks both boxes, and so do I. I'm perfectly okay with being challenged. I'm not doing anything wrong and I can easily prove that they are my children and that my husband has consented to our travel outside of the US. Once that evidence is presented, we go on with our travel, no worse for the wear. I'm glad airlines and border officials are looking out for victims, and if my children were ever abducted, I would hope airlines would follow up on a passenger's suspicions and border control would question anyone with them. I'm guessing once they've passed border control, the chances of ever finding them decrease drastically.

Interestingly, last summer there was a post in the AA forum related to this (I've read some, but not all of this thread, so apologies if someone has already referenced this). A family was traveling together and the poster was upset that the AA FA insisted that her son answer her question (about his meal or something) instead of his mother answering for him. The AA posters blasted her because they said the FA was just following her training and looking for signs of trafficking and also criticized her for not warning the airline in advance that her son was on the autism spectrum, but high functioning (if you don't need special services, why would you request them????). It's curious that people would defend an AA FA trying to figure out if a child was being abducted by herself instead of passing along her suspicions to the proper authorities, but United is condemned for passing along a fellow passenger's suspicions (which were easily sorted out by contacting the mother) to the proper authorities.
How many times were you asked about that from immigration officers, and how many times did a flight attendant report you to the authorities?

Last edited by Kevin AA; Apr 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm Reason: deleted a quoted post that now makes sense
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 8:59 pm
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I don't really blame the flight crew for this. Once they are informed they are required to follow a certain procedure. Not pleasant for the passenger and the child but can't blame the airline on this one. If I was that passenger I would sue the passenger who made the complaint. I don't know the passenger's personal situation but in my case I have the resources to drag somebody through the courts for years and would make them pay.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 9:08 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by fly18725
How does a passenger report its suspicions to a LEO in-flight?
Originally Posted by minnyfly
How is the PAX going to do that? Send an e-mail?

The crew did the right thing. Let's applaud them.
Sure, email. Or call over VoIP. Or call on arrival. Or find someone upon arrival. The same way anyone ever reports something to LEO? LEO can investigate and follow up as they feel appropriate.

We don't know if the crew did the right thing, in foresight, due to the lack of detail. In hindsight, we know they did the wrong thing.

Originally Posted by Baze
Law enforcement has tried to ingrain in us see something that doesn't look right report it. In that passengers eyes something did not look right. They did what they thought was right by reporting it to someone who could call LEO.
"See something, say something" is a running joke in the security community.

Originally Posted by Baze
Could UA have spent time looking at who the passenger was reporting to see the if there was an explanation? Sure. But how many times has one parent kidnapped their child from the parent that has custody, plenty of times. Yes, this time there was nothing of concern, but what about the time there is?
What about all the other times it's just needlessly harassing people doing nothing wrong based on xenophobic and racist notions? There's real harm there. And so little gain, as pointed out above.

Originally Posted by stevendorechester
I don't really blame the flight crew for this. Once they are informed they are required to follow a certain procedure.
Where does the requirement come from that they must contact LEO over utterly baseless allegations? Are you claiming this is US law? Or UA policy?
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 9:12 pm
  #74  
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Originally Posted by mduell
Sure, email. Or call over VoIP. Or call on arrival. Or find someone upon arrival. The same way anyone ever reports something to LEO? LEO can investigate and follow up as they feel appropriate.

We don't know if the crew did the right thing, in foresight, due to the lack of detail. In hindsight, we know they did the wrong thing.



"See something, say something" is a running joke in the security community.



What about all the other times it's just needlessly harassing people doing nothing wrong based on xenophobic and racist notions? There's real harm there. And so little gain, as pointed out above.



Where does the requirement come from that they must contact LEO over utterly baseless allegations?
Do something and be wrong, a losing situation. Do nothing and it ends up it was a problem, again, a losing situation.
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Old Apr 18, 2017, 9:29 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell
We don't know if the crew did the right thing, in foresight, due to the lack of detail. In hindsight, we know they did the wrong thing.
There is no "hindsight" review option.

The foresight review, from a biased, one-sided angle, still says the right thing was done. UA isn't in the business of playing police.
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