Cape Town - Air safety and how passengers are being treated both by airlines and fellow passengers has once again become a hot topic after local award-winning music group Black Motion were escorted off a British Airways flight following an alleged racist incident.
They duo were flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg on Monday, 04 December.
According to the duo who took to Instagram to discuss the matter, they booked into business class and were seated when an air hostess asked them to move to economy after a fellow passenger complained about a broken seat and she needed to be move.
Bongani "Murdah" Mohosana took to Instagram account to speak out about the incident, insisting that they had been asked to move simply so that a "white woman could be comfortable".
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Mohosana says they questioned why they were singled out to move to economy over other passengers in business class and were apparently told their tickets were "worth less."
"Black motion happened to be the only two young black men in a British Airways business class.
"We were embarrassed and removed from business class just because a white woman complained about her broken seat.
"Our image has been compromised. We had to suffer as if we own British Airlines (sic) having to suffer while a white lady was comfortable in our seats.
"We were told that they couldn't risk flying us as they were avoiding 911.
"In their eyes, we are terrorists the captain said it indirectly
"Our image/ reputation as has been compromised and this is because of our kindness. We will forever humble ourselves."
The group's road manager, Nicky Seema, who was also on the flight told TimessLive that the group were ill-treated because they were "the only two black people in economy".
"When they asked why they were being chosen, they [the air hostess] told them their ticket was cheaper. We asked them why they were not accommodating us and they said they were doing so by putting us in economy," he says.
Seema says once the crew discovered that Mabongwane and Mohosana were famous, they apologised and offered to get them onto the next available flight.
According to Seema the airline indicated it was not about race, but he alleges the incident only happened because they did not know they were Black Motion and "they saw two boys and thought they could undermine them".
It is unclear if the change of seating is based on the airline's new controversial policy that boards passengers based on how much they paid for a seat.
The new "pay less, board last" means passengers with the cheapest tickets will be last to hop on the aircraft, no matter where they sit on the plane. Traveller24 asked Comair if this new policy had any bearing, with the airline stating it would only be able to comment once it has all the details.
SEE: Priority boarding and the insignificance of budget travellers?
In a statement, Shaun Pozyn, Marketing, Loyalty and Customer Experience Head told Traveller24 that they are aware of the incident and will comment further once they have more details.
“We have been made aware of this incident. Comair and British Airways will not tolerate racism," says Pozyn. "We regard these allegations as very serious and they thus warrant thorough investigation. We will establish what happened and take whatever action is required.”
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