Frontier Airlines Questions Black Woman Flying With Her 4-Year-Old White Sister After Passenger Suggests She's Trafficking
July 22, 2021
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A Colorado woman felt she was racially profiled after a concerned passenger suspected she was trafficking her sister, Denver 7 reported.
When a FrontierAirlines flight arrived at Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport Tuesday, Lakeyjanay Bailey and her white adoptive sister, Olivia, were intercepted by authorities at the gate.
“There were two police officers, and they came up to me and said, ‘Is it okay if we talk to you?'” Bailey recalled.
The 21-year-old was traveling from Denver to Dallas with Olivia, who is 4 years old, and says officers interrogated them both.
“She asked Livie if she knows me and what am I to her, and he asked what my mom was to her,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, DFW Department of Public Safety authorities spoke with Olivia’s legal mother and a social worker to verify information and ultimately followed the pair to baggage claim to speak with the person who was picking them up.
“The whole time they were talking with us, people kept staring at us, whispering and stuff,” Bailey said.
An incident report from DFW revealed officers responded to a request from the airline for law enforcement to meet them at the gate.
The Aurora, Colorado, native said the experience was “humiliating.”
“I feel bad,” Bailey said. “Knowing that I might have to go through that a lot.”
“If the roles were changed and it was a white person walking off the plane with a Black person, like a Black child, I feel like things would be different,” Bailey continued.
She and her family are considering taking legal action against Frontier Airlines following the incident.
In a statement, Frontier Airlines said they were following “established protocols” after a passenger complained to the flight crew about Bailey and Olivia’s relationship.
“A concern was raised during the flight by another passenger who was sitting near the woman and child and suspected human trafficking. That passenger approached the flight crew with those concerns and subsequently completed a written report during the flight to document her observations,” the statement reads. “The captain was notified and felt an obligation to report the matter. Air travel is one of the most common means for human trafficking. Race played no part in the actions of the flight crew who were following established protocols.”
Just a few days prior to Bailey’s encounter, another racially motivated incident occurred on a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami, after a white man allegedly called a Black passenger the n-word, CBS Tampa Bay reported.
A video recorded by passenger Kiera Pierre Louis shows the altercation turning physical.
“You can see the white man on top of the Black passenger just beating him between the seats,” Louis said, adding relatives and a flight attendant tried to de-escalate the situation.
According to Louis, the brawl began after the white passenger grew angry, saying he felt the Black passenger was taking too long to remove his luggage from the overhead compartment.
Ultimately, law enforcement became involved and no charges were filed.