A mother travelling with her 12-week-old infant daughter was shocked when another Flair Airlines passenger allegedly stole her seat, and her husband is suggesting it was an act of discrimination.
A TikTok video with the title “Racism in Canada” was posted by user @adeolaalle on Sunday, April 16, describing the incident and sharing a video from the onboard confrontation.
He says it happened on a Flair Airlines flight from Vancouver to Calgary on Friday, April 14, and says his wife had booked two seats for her and the baby.
But, he says when his wife boarded the plane, she saw someone else sitting in her window seat. Thinking it was an honest mistake, the mom spoke to the passenger and explained that it was her seat. The other passenger said they weren’t going to move from the window seat.
So, she turned to the flight attendant for assistance. But the other passenger still refused to move after the flight attendant asked them to give up their seat.
The flight attendant turned to the mom and asked her to sit in a different seat instead.
TikTok user @adeolaalle says the attendant was “condescending” to the mother, who became more agitated at the situation and accused them of racism. The woman who stole her seat appears to be white while the mom is Black, however, her face has been blurred in the video.
At one point the flight attendants can be heard telling her to calm down.
“If you’re not calming down we have to get you out of this aircraft.”
Other passengers can also be heard offering the mother their seats as the situation appears to get more heated.
You can watch the full nine-minute video below.
Racism and Discrimination on flair airline from Vancouver to Calgary @Globalnews.ca @CTVNews #racism #racismincanada #discrimination
Daily Hive reached out to Flair Airlines for a response to the incident and a spokesperson provided a statement and confirmed that they are investigating.
“Flair Airlines staff did ask the passenger in 2A to move to her assigned seat, but she refused multiple times. Unfortunately, this caused the situation to escalate,” said Flair.
“Our flight attendants did offer a solution and attempted to de-escalate the situation. The resolution take (sic) for the flight was to seat the passenger in the window seat on the other side of the aircraft — the same row and seat, just on the other side of the plane.
According to Flair, they “spoke directly to the passenger first to listen to her experience and concerns first hand, to offer our sincerest apologies for any distress, and to discuss ways the airline can remedy her concerns.”
The airline said it has issued a full refund to the passengers’ credit card for the cost of the flight.
Flair Airlines did not give a response to allegations of racism and discrimination.
The family’s response
Since amassing thousands of views on TikTok and receiving overwhelming support from the public, the family made a second 10-minute-long follow-up video shared on Tuesday, April 18.
Thanks to everyone who has shown support, we appreciate it. #nigeriansincanada #racismincanada #wecandobetter #CapCut
According to the family, it’s not about the money. “We felt an injustice had happened and they should have acted better, we wanted an apology,” they said.
“I don’t want my child to be the one to have to make this kind of video,” they said.
Daily Hive has reached out to the family to learn more and will update this story.