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Vacation nightmare: Teen girl too white to fly


Vacation nightmare: Teen girl too white to fly
Family’s dream holiday grounded over daughter’s complexion

No, it wasn’t related to the current hysterical backlash over all things Confederate.


But an airline’s denial to a teen attempting to board a plane was due to her complexion.

When Paul Wain, 45, and his family arrived at the U.K.’s Manchester airport a week ago Monday, they were a comfortable four-plus hours early for their flight to the tropical Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. The retired military man had held back his pay for years to provide the trip of a lifetime to his wife and children.

The fact the flight to Dubai was overbooked already created a stressed situation, but it was when the Wains approached the Etihad check-in desk, they received the shock of their lives, reported the London Daily Mirror.

Their daughter Grace, 14, would not be allowed to board the plane because she was “pale.”

Paul Wain noted, “Grace was a bit tired and hot and bothered. She was cuddling into her mom in the line.

“One of the Etihad check-in girls then made the decision that she wasn’t fit to fly based on the fact she was pale in color and was leaning against her mom.”

Etihad is the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Sheena Wain, Grace’s mother, who suspects other motives for the girl being singled out.

“We have flown a lot as a family but we have never had this. They were trying desperately to get people off that flight.”

“It was as if someone had just hit us around the head with a baseball bat,” Wain added. “We just stared at each other in amazement that we were not getting on this holiday, and then the kids started crying.”

Airline personnel called for a medic to examine the well-being of the fair-skinned girl, but refused to let her board without a letter from her physician affirming her complexion was not due to a medical condition.

“I told them, ‘We live in Scotland. She is a redhead and she has a pale complexion. That’s just the way she is,’” Wain said.

Fortunately, his sister-in-law was able to contact the family physician and have a letter clearing the girl for flight emailed just in time to Etihad. The letter stated:

Dear Sir or Madame,
I know of no reason why this patient should not fly.
Yours faithfully,
Dr. Khalid Hassan

Unfortunately, the Wain’s luggage did not make it to their destination until three days after their arrival.

“It’s the holiday of a lifetime, but it has been a disaster from the start,” said Sheena Wain.

The family is scheduled to return to the U.K. Sunday. Presumably, after two weeks of sun and surf, Grace will no longer be too pale to board the long flight home.


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