A Korean-American man traveling with his family says he was recently kicked off a Cancun-bound Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 30 because of “discrimination.”
In a Facebook post, 28-year-old Justin Cho wrote that he was scheduled to fly out on Delta flight DL937 at 11:40 a.m. PST when he and his family accidentally tried boarding during the Skypass/Executive class boarding.
Cho claims that a Delta employee named Isabel then condescendingly told his father to “move” and “we’re not boarding yet.”
Cho’s father, who had a hard time hearing the intercom due to the crowd of people, was a few passengers ahead of his family, so he got his ticket scanned and waited on the side of the walkway.
He was then told by Isabel, “you have to walk in, go inside”, to which he replied, “I am waiting for my family.”
The Delta employee said that he wasn’t allowed to wait on the side and told him to board the plane.
Cho’s father repeated his response, and that’s when Isabel grabbed the man’s passport out of his hands and said, “that’s it, you’re not getting on go back in line.”
“Imagine looking at your father and seeing him being treated like a child in front of a huge group of people,” Cho said of the incident. “He literally did nothing wrong and just wanted to board the plane together with his family for our vacation.”
He pointed out that there were only four Asian-American people boarding the flight at the time and were asked to move to the side.
Cho mentioned that he saw another Asian family being pulled aside so their passports could be double checked.
“I’d really like to think this was a coincidence, I’m not too sure though,” he said.
Four airport police officers were called in to ask the family to move outside, and that they were responding to a “threatening and escalating situation,” Cho wrote.
One of the airport officers told Cho that “overbooking and kicking off people is normal protocol.”
Cho uploaded a video of the incident on YouTube, in which he can be heard saying to another airport employee, “Honestly, you know, I feel discriminated against.”
No compensation has been offered by the airline, even though Cho said “Delta was offering $200, $300, $400, and even $500 for customers that would be willing to switch flights or change their plans” when he was checking into his flight the day before.
On top of all that, the family had to wait about an hour for their luggage to be unloaded at arrivals before they could go home.
Cho updated his post to say that his mother had to visit the doctors to get medication for “anxiety and difficulty breathing after this traumatic even.”
The incident comes after Vietnamese-American Dr. David Dao was violently dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville in April, resulting in him undergoing reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Dao’s lawyers and United’s legal representatives eventually worked out a settlement the same day the airline released 10 policies to improve customers’ experience.