Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Racial Discrimination Case Against Easyjet Airlines

I have a hearing scheduled in November in the discrimination case against Easyjet and I was thinking today what would be the preferable approach to an examination of the allegation of racism. It occurred to me that I should ask the question:  did I, on the prescribed ground, receive less favourable treatment than others? The alternative has been to consider first whether I received less favourable treatment than the appropriate comparator and secondly whether that was on the relevant prescribed ground.

In the present case it is alleged that Easyjet discriminates against me and against Afghan nationals.  The statutory comparison is with the treatment accorded by Easyjet to other persons in the same circumstances, namely those who hold British and EU citizenship[1].  I considers that I am being penalised because of my nationality because those with EU citizenship are not being penalised.  Accordingly I contend that I am receiving less favourable treatment.

How does easyjet treat a person who holds EU citizenship to that of Afghan citizenship in the same circumstances?  Those who hold EU passport are treated by easyjet favourably than I have been treated.  EU citizen documents are checked at the gate as demonstrated by video evidence of Annex 1[2] and Annex 3[3] to 5[4]. My documents are checked and identity is verified at the boarding gate as demonstrated by video evidence of Annex 1 and Annex 3 to 5. Furthermore, this is quantified by estimating average document verification time at the boarding gate per passenger later.

The boarding Process for EU Citizens
1.     check in online or at the airport
2.     proceed to boarding gate for document check that takes on average 12 seconds

The Boarding process for me
1.     check in online or at the airport
2.     report at the easyjet counter for document checks
3.     Report at the easyjet counter for identity verification as seen in Annex 4 a process that takes around 10 minutes
4.     Further document verification and scrutiny at the boarding gate as presented in Annex 5.
5.     Call the manager to report and ask for instruction Annex1 annex 3 and annex 4
6.     Check the authenticity of my document annex 1 at the beginning check photo and at the gate holding passport to check watermarks and seek team opinion.

7.     Interrogation about my stay, particularly duration, and personal life including family state.

Easyjet takes every opportunity to question aggressively, violate privacy and instigate fear in Afghans. while the process for EU citizens is thought out and simplified.

Easyjet has insisted through a series of correspondence via UK CAA and the Dutch ILT that the treatment of me have been just a random security check. This is contended on three grounds:
1.     By its own admission easyjet carries out dozens of security checks everyday. For the sake of argument we assume dozens mean 36. Easyjet carries 70 million passengers every year that is over 191 thousand a day and the likelihood of being caught in a security check is 0.018%. The only statistical chance of being caught in four random checks in a row within a year is only feasible if the probability of checks are 100% but we know that checks like I describe is not taking place for every passenger, everyday and every time they fly, otherwise that would bring civil aviation to a stop.
2.     Easyjet deliberately confuses “Random Security Check” required by regulator that encompasses physical scrutiny[6] with identity verification that has no legal basis. Easyjet is neither a law enforcement agency nor border control it does not have the legal mandate to carry out interrogations, I found this out through freedom of information requests to Dutch and British governments. Airlines do not have the remit to question passengers about their private life and family affairs as evidence by Annex 1, it is a violation of privacy.
3.     Easyjet Staff on a number of occasion have informed me that the questioning is part of procedure for screening Afghan nationals which means that it is not random. This is Annex 3 timing 2:10 onward and Annex 1 timing 4:40 onward.

Estimating Average document verification time at the boarding gate per passenger

To estimate how passengers who hold EU passport are treated in comparison to how I I wish to examine how long it takes to verify their documents.

1.     Gate closing time 30 minute before the flight[7]

2.     Boarding usually begins around 45 minutes before departure.[8]

3.     Conservative estimate of passengers per easyjet plane 150[9]

4.     150 passenger divided by 2 desks arriving at 75 passenger per desk and processed within 15 minutes is 12 seconds

5.     on Average it takes 12 seconds to verify documents

6.     this seems accurate and similar to processing time observed on three separate check in occasions at the gates. All these three occasion are filmed and provided as documentary evidence along with this document.

7.     To verify my document took around 12 minutes on the flight before the one in question and on occasions has taken up to two hours.

8.     It takes at least 60[10] times longer to verify my document while compared with a passenger who hold EU documents.

9.     The time it takes to process my document is important as within this minimum of 12 minutes I am not treated with courtesy and coffee but abused and humiliated as evident from annex 1 and annex 3 through to annex 5.

Therefore, I allege that Easyjet had discriminated against me directly on grounds of race and nationality in specific contrary to the Equal treatment act and Article 1 of the constitution. Under the Equal treatment act the Burden of proof has been placed on Easyjet as envision in Section 12  subsection 1. “If a person who considers that he has been wronged through discrimination as referred to in this Act establishes before a court facts from which it may be presumed that discrimination has taken place, it shall be for the respondent to prove that the action in question was not in breach of this Act.”

[1] Easyjet staff testimony in Annex 3 boarding denied timing 2:10 onward
and Annex 1 Easyjet flight London to Amsterdam timing 4:40 onward
[6] see Annex 6 for details
[7] Please remember, the boarding gate closes at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your flight so make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time.

 Boarding starts 45 minutes before the time of departure; you can expect to be boarded into a pre-boarding room at certain departure gates.

[9] some sources indicate that they are squeezing even more than 180 per plane

[10] (12x 60) /12 = 60
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