Sikh Passenger Receives Apology from Airline

October 31, 2003

Source: The Argus,1413,83~1971~1732763,00.html

On October 31, 2003 The Argus reported that "in what may be the first legal victory over a major airline accused of post-Sept. 11 discrimination, Satnam Dhillon got what he wanted after being barred from boarding a flight a month after the terrorist attacks: an apology... Dhillon, a Sikh who wears a long beard and turban in accordance with his religious beliefs, missed his business flight to Las Vegas on Oct. 16, 2001, when, he said, he was surrounded by six police officers and escorted away from the boarding gate at San Francisco International Airport. He says it was because of his appearance. National Airlines officials at the time said it was because the pilot saw Dhillon make an 'obscene gesture.' After two years of litigation, the airline issued a new statement, saying it 'sincerely regrets' that Dhillon was denied boarding as a result of an 'apparent misunderstanding.'"