When #Virgin Atlantic Failed, #Shame on Richard #Branson – #Justice for Firhaana Bulbulia, Flight Rage victim

CAVEAT

I was stunned on reading this, anyone who knows me, understands I ADORE Virgin Atlantic as a bastion of entrepreneurship and service, so to suddenly encounter this racist nightmare persisting unpunished is beyond my understanding, if Richard Branson can read about LIAT and have something to say? I expect him to find this and fire the Customer Service Manager and the Flight Attendant who did not make an official report of Flight Rage!

The letter from Firhaana Bulbulia is contained in the story and can be made bigger by clicking twice for understanding better… This first appeared in Facebook, and with permission I am reprinting it here in its entirety! Also, please understand she is no stranger to travel. as a successful young Commonwealth envoy.

FIRHAANA‘s STORY

I was assaulted by a white British male on board Virgin Atlantic and the flight attendant never even told the passenger he was “wrong“.

(CLICK FOR BIGGER) This happened to me on about 2 weeks ago. I really had no intentions of posting about it because this particular situation really took a toll on me emotionally but in light of the discussions happening now about reclining seats and the exceptionally nonchalant way <strong>Virgin Atlantic</strong> has handled this case of assault - I believe this incident has so many "<strong>lessons</strong>" that are worth sharing. <strong>I encourage you to first read the letter</strong>.

(CLICK FOR BIGGER) This happened to me on about 2 weeks ago. I really had no intentions of posting about it because this particular situation really took a toll on me emotionally but in light of the discussions happening now about reclining seats and the exceptionally nonchalant way Virgin Atlantic has handled this case of assault – I believe this incident has so many “lessons” that are worth sharing. I encourage you to first read the letter.

Unfortunately, as this incident took place whilst flying and outside the jurisdiction of the court, we could not proceed with pressing charges. I was distraught. However, I learnt two things about the incident:

Unfortunately, as this incident took place whilst flying and outside the jurisdiction of the court, we could not proceed with pressing charges. I was distraught. However, I learnt two things about the incident:”

1. The police I dealt with at the station here in Barbados were exceptional – particularly Sergeant Lavine. He was sensitive, empathetic and did everything possible to make me feel safe and secure throughout the process. It was no easy task to find the passenger, as all I had was a seat number and he was a visitor to Barbados, however, within a matter of days of my report he had the passenger in the station. Unfortunately, as this incident took place whilst flying and outside the jurisdiction of the court, we could not proceed with pressing charges. I was distraught.

  • The flight attendant should have alerted the captain who in turn would alert the authorities on the ground about the issue so it could be dealt with as soon as the doors were opened in Barbados – as he is classified as adisruptive passenger‘- this DID NOT happen
  • The passenger in speaking to the police reiterated one of the most disheartening aspects of how the flight attendant dealt with the matter: SHE NEVER TOLD HIM WHAT HE WAS DOING WAS WRONG. Of course, any person with common sense and a concept of how to treat people respectfully knows what they were doing was wrong- but it is also the airlines duty to protect their passengers.

2. It was with a great deal of persistence that I FINALLY was able to first get an acknowledgment to my letter and then a call from a Virgin Atlantic representative in the UK- as it is the UK office that handles these matters. It took one week to hear from them. This entire conversation with the representative triggered me… and was a vicious cycle of me consistently feeling like I had to defend myself and repeat what happened to me, as she said things like “It is your word against his“, she discouraged me from “escalating things further“, and attempting to convince me that the flight attendant was not wrong- by saying they “can’t control passengers behaviours” and that the passenger “apologized to the flight attendant“.

By the end of this conversation I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and had to go over what happened in so much detail that afterwards, all I could do was cry. To add to the utter disrespect and lack of empathy, she offered me a "gift" for "providing feedback on my experience". I wasn't here to "offer feedback" - I was here to make sure that no person ever has to experience assault on a Virgin Atlantic Flight and further face emotional distress due to the staff's lack of competence with dealing with the matter. It became apparent quickly that the conversation would go nowhere and to them it was just something they wanted to silence quickly- for me I was exhausted.

By the end of this conversation I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and had to go over what happened in so much detail that afterwards, all I could do was cry. To add to the utter disrespect and lack of empathy, she offered me a “gift” for “providing feedback on my experience”. I wasn’t here to “offer feedback” – I was here to make sure that no person ever has to experience assault on a Virgin Atlantic Flight and further face emotional distress due to the staff’s lack of competence with dealing with the matter. It became apparent quickly that the conversation would go nowhere and to them it was just something they wanted to silence quickly – for me I was exhausted.

In again offering the gift, she said it could ONLY be sent to a UK or US address. Virgin Atlantic has flights to Barbados DAILY, they have an office here – yet could not arrange this gift any other way- NO… because clearly passengers from the US and UK are only worth the hassle. Eventually I gave her my cousin’s address indicating I wouldn’t be seeing her until July. She wanted to send me “flowers“- but obviously this was inappropriate so she said it will be a “hamper“. My cousin has finally received the hamper and it is a basket of PERISHABLE FOOD items that will be impossible for her to bring to Barbados in 6 months’ time.

To the white British male in seat <strong>30 B</strong>, who thinks he has a right to put his hands on anyone and further degrade them by telling them to <em>"Shut-up and sit down"</em> and has faced NO repercussions for his actions except a warning by Barbadian police - <strong>DO BETTER</strong>.

To the white British male in seat 30 B, who thinks he has a right to put his hands on anyone and further degrade them by telling them to “Shut-up and sit down” and has faced NO repercussions for his actions except a warning by Barbadian police – DO BETTER.

To Virgin Atlantic, it is clear in your handling of this case, that I’m a “nobody” to you- only being able to take your flights if it paid for by an organizer of a meeting, whereas the white British male in which you have condoned his indecent and discriminatory behavior is a regular on your flight to “exotic Barbados” – DO BETTER!

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One Response

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  1. Given the seriousness of the allegation, that the victim received blows to the head, not once but three times, it is hard to believe that events transpired in quite the manner as are characterised. People commit crimes while on flights all the time and it is never used as a loophole to evade prosecution. Repeated reference to the perpetrator’s colour implies, moreover, that used an ethnic slur, but it’s not explicitly reported. Finally, the alleged victim incredibly accepted a gift from the airline. This does not say much about her moral convictions. This story, in short, reeks of embellishment and publicity seeking.

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