Airline to redheaded girl: "You're too pale" to fly on this plane


Grace Wain, a Scottish 14-year-old, failed to board a flight after check-in staff in Manchester, England told her she was “too pale” to get on the plane.

It sounds like it took a bit of convincing for Etihad Airlines to allow the girl to get on her flight to the Maldives, where her family was heading on vacation. Via The Daily Record:

The Etihad staff insisted on written confirmation from a doctor that Grace was fit to fly – even after an airport paramedic gave her a check-up and told them she was fine.
Stunned dad Paul, 45, said: “I told them, ‘We live in Scotland.’
“She is a redhead and she has a pale complexion. That’s just the way she is.”

What’s buried a few paragraphs into this Daily Record story is that Wain might’ve been denied from flying because the flight was overbooked. Which, frankly, would make this story a whole more interesting: Did the staff of Wain’s Etihad Airlines flight get together, talk, and attempt to come up with a solution to an overbooked flight, and settle on telling a 14-year-old girl that her hair was too red to board a plane? Quality problem solving! (Calls to Etihad for comment went unreturned.)

The Record spoke to an Etihad spokesman, who said that “staff were concerned about the wellbeing of a young passenger ahead of a lengthy flight,” but eventually “the airline apologised.”

Paul, the girl’s father, did not take well to the news.

“It was as if someone had just hit us around the head with a baseball bat,” he told the Record.

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.

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