Aeroméxico has released the following statement in response to claims that staff members refused to allow a group of indigenous people to board one of the airline’s flights in Oaxaca due to their clothing and background, as previously reported by Latino Rebels.
In relation to flight AM544 from Oaxaca to Mexico City this past November 5th, Aeroméxico states the following:
- For operational reasons we conducted a change of aircraft, utilizing an Embraer 170 with 76 seats and not an Embraer 190 with 99 seats as planned. This led to more than 20 customers not being able to board the flight, including a group of seven people whose final destination was Hermosillo.
- The shift supervisor told the Aeroméxico passengers in Oaxaca of the situation and offered them compensation for hotels, food, transportation and a plane ticket on a national route.
It is important to note that one of the groups above went on the flight without any problem, while the rest went on a November 7th flight at the request of the passengers who wished to fly together, with the company covering their lodging and food during those days. Thus the airline staff at the airport acted in accordance with the operating procedures and customer service.
Aeroméxico regrets any inconvenience that was caused from this situation and appreciates the business of all its customers.
Some thanked the airline for clarifying the situation while others continued to criticize them for unfair treatment, discrimination and racism.
Translation: To have an explanation there needs to be investigation. Congratulations on your report. It’s too bad for those who speak without knowing fact
@AeroMexico_com para dar una explicación hay que hacer investigación. Felicidades por su informe. Lastima por los que hablan sin saber
— Dahro (@DahroC) November 10, 2013
Translation: It is a lie, if they are saying this because they’re being sued, offer your apologies and don’t lie, RACISTS!
@AeroMexico_com es mentira, si fuera como lo están diciendo por q los están demandando, ofrezcan disculpas y no mientan, RACISTAS!!!
— Pedro Navajas. (@lopez_pit) November 10, 2013
Translation: I feel like going to the airport with some traditional clothing and huaraches, let’s see if they let me board for not going in style ‘polanco’
@AeroMexico_com Tengo ganas d llegar al Aeropuerto con algún traje típico y huaraches, a ver si m dejan abordar, por no ir al estilo polanco
— ANGELA SANTIBAÑEZ (@AANSACE) November 10, 2013
Other airlines even jumped into the conversation.
@juca_cruz We’re pleased that we’ll have you aboard. Thank you for the mention and have a great weekend. ^MK
— United (@united) November 11, 2013
In the video below tourist agents Neftalí Bautista and Sofía Santa denounce Aeroméxico for discriminating against the six indigenous men.
Commentators have continued to draw parallels between the current situation and an incident earlier in the year in which Aeroméxico apologized for releasing a casting-call for a commercial that called for light-skinned people only. The ad, depicted below in Spanish, prompts “dark skinned” applicants not to apply, asking instead for those of ”polanco” style, referencing to the predominantly white affluent neighborhood in Mexico City.