Talking about travel experience, here is one I had at the CDG Airport in Paris..
I was flying back this Dec 31st, 2007 from Dubai and had a 5 hour layover at CDG. I had to go to a different terminal from the one I landed in... and that meant going through security check again at the new terminal.
I placed by carry on backpack on the x ray machine and I was waiting for my bag to at least start moving before I walked through the metal detector. While the ICTS (pvt company) security agent on the othe side signalled me to walk through, i said (in English) that I would like to wait till the bags get into the X-ray machine..
This did not sit well with this ICTS Agent.. He walked past the metal detector and proceeded to shove and push me past the metal detector.. (I forgot to mention that I had knee surgery ~ 20 days back to fix an ACL injury)
I could not believe that I was shoved past a metal detector.. I said to the ICTS agent that he had no right to shove me and I asked to speak to his supervisor.. This made this so called agent more angry and he started to threaten me repeatening "you want to report me"!! His immediate supervisor said that since this was a security issue nothing could be done.. Not willing to give up, I asked to speak the head agent there.. He was a bit more helpful.. he gave me a website and a mailing address where I can write to..(with the details of which gate and what time I experienced this)..
I kept repeating to every supervisor that I did the right thing and their agent did the wrong thing by shoving me..
I was not satisfied with just some addresses and website for the terrible way I was treated. After a while of sitting at the terminal, I went back and I asked that I wanted to file a Police case against the agent. Initially, the agents said once you are in the terminal, you cannot get out.. I spoke to the head agent again who let me get out and gave me directions to the Police booth in the airport.
At the police station, I stood around with Visa violaters for a while.. Eventually, they were able to find someone who spoke halting English.. Since I was not physically hurt, I could not file a Police case against the agent. What I was able to file was something like an incident report (but unfortunately no tracking #)
This was an interesting first hand experience in overt racism.. being treated like crap because the agent thought he could get away with doing that to a South Asian looking person..
I have since written to
- ICTS France, Roissy Pole le Dome, 1 rue de la haye, 95000 Roussy CDG Paris, France
- Air France
- e-mailed ADPWEB [ADPWEB@adp.fr
- Nicholas Sarkozy
and a few others..
I am not going to let this ICTS Agent treat people like crap.. After he saw that I went out to put a police case, he came to talk to me at the terminal saying that I can shove him if I want and a lot of other excuses.. I kept repeating my mantra " I did the right thing. You did the wrong thing. You cannot force me to do the wrong thing.."
I will keep writing to all the parties until I hear back..
and Air France, even though I liked your service at the airplane, I am not flying through CDG ever again..
Lets vote with our feet.. Lets vote with our money.. Lets avoid airports that don't treat all passengers equally..