Sikh actor blocked on flight satisfied with apology

Waris Ahluwalia
Waris Ahluwalia

Waris Ahluwalia


An Indian-American actor and designer who wasn’t allowed to board a Mexico City-to-New York flight after refusing to remove his turban said Tuesday that he is satisfied with an apology from the airline.

Waris Ahluwalia said he is now waiting for Aeromexico to implement special training on how to treat Sikh passengers, for whom the headgear carries deep religious significance.

“We’re just a few steps away from a lot of hugs,” Ahluwalia told The Associated Press.

Aeromexico issued a statement Tuesday saying: “We apologize to Mr. Waris Ahluwalia for the unfortunate experience he had with one of our security guards during the boarding process prior to his flight to New York at the Mexico City International Airport.”

“This incident inspires us to make sure that we strengthen the customer service protocols of our safety personnel in respectful accordance with the cultural and religious values of our customers,” the statement said.

Ahluwalia welcomed the airline’s apology. “We’ve gotten the apology and I’m grateful, and thanks to them for doing that,” he said.

“The next step is to do the training” for inspecting Sikhs and others with religious headwear, he added.

The turban is part of the required dress for Sikh men. In addition, Sikh men and women are forbidden to cut their hair.


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