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Are Africans Charged More On International Flights Than Asians?

European Airlines' Maltreatment of Africans Must Stop

The long history of exploitation and maltreatment of African people by European airlines can no longer be ignored. In fact, they must stop. The petition below is a rallying call for an end to such exploitation and maltreatment which are obvious to any one who travels to and from Africa with any one of these European airlines.

Specifically, this is our position: Since African people are a part of the human race, European Airlines should treat them with respect and dignity, just like they treat any other group of human beings who are not Africans. As such, the apparent maltreatment of Africans by the European airlines will no longer be ignored. We must stop this maltreatment NOW.

Signing of the petition has ended today, April 1, 2005. However, you can participate in the poll at the end of this petition. For questions about this petition, send an email to: umez@umez.com or call 281-425-6368.

Together, we will matter and make Africa proud again.

Thanks for your continued fraternal support and be blessed abundantly.

About Dr. Umez, the author of the Petition

Below is the Petition

From: CONCERNED AFRICANS & FRIENDS OF AFRICA

January 24, 2002

TO: United Nations (UN), Organization of African Unity (OAU),

Organization of American States (OAS), International Civil

Aviation Organization (ICAO), Federal Aviation Administration

(FAA), and the European Union (EU)

CC: Lufthansa, Alitalia, British Airways, KLM, Virgin Atlantic,

Air France, and Swissair

CC: Kweisi Mfume, President NAACP; Rev. Jessie Jackson,

Rainbow/Push Coalition; Kofi Annan, Secretary General, UN;

Randal Robinson, Founder of TransAfrica; Ambassador Andrew Young;

Colin Powell, Secretary of State, US Government

CC: All African Governments: The Governments of Algeria,

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon,

Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote D'ivoire,

Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea,

Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,

Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali,

Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger,

Nigeria, Rwanda, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic,

Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Senegal, Sierra Leone,

Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo,

Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

A PETITION

European Airlines’ Maltreatment of Africans Must Stop

• Considering the exorbitant air fares being charged on African routes by European Airlines;

• Considering the poor services given to Africans and the rudeness of most staff of European Airlines to Africans;

• Considering that mosquito and other insect killing chemicals are being sprayed in the passenger areas of these European airplanes right before leaving Africa for Europe;

• Considering that much older planes are being used for African routes;

• Considering that flights to and from Africa are generally overbooked; and

• Considering the unwarranted and humiliating searching of African passengers by Customs officials at the airports in Europe, we, the signatories, therefore:

Call upon the United Nations, Organization of African Unity, Organization of American States, International Civil Aviation Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, and the European Union to investigate maltreatment of Africans by the European airlines and ask, without further delay, European airlines to:

1. Lower the exorbitant air fares being charged to Africans;

2. Improve the quality of their services to Africans, e.g., the quality of the meals;

3. Use newer planes (which are comparable to those used in Trans-Atlantic flights) to transport Africans to and from Europe and America;

4. Stop spraying mosquito and other insect killing chemicals WHILE African passengers are seated in these flights;

5. Stop overbooking of Africans to Europe/North America; and finally,

6. Search Africans with dignity, respect and decorum, and generally apply the universal standard of treating all customers as equals.

We condemn strongly the apparent injustice to Africans, and in support of our petition, submit that:

1. For so long, European airlines, specifically, Lufthansa, Alitalia, British Airways, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, and Swissair have continuously charged Africans exorbitant fares. Compare, for instance, the following standard round trip fares from the US to Africa and from the US to Asia (21-day advance purchase, Source: Yahoo Travel, January 23, 2002).

[b]US to AFRICA US to ASIA

Houston, US to Ghana = $1,570 Houston, US to Beijing, China = $649

Houston, US to Nigeria = $1,539 Houston, US to Tokyo, Japan = $608

Houston, US to Kenya = $1,813 Houston, US to Korea = $658

Houston, US to Tanzania = $1,929 Houston, US to Philippines = $715

It is noteworthy that the distance between the US and Asia is much longer than that between the US and Africa. For instance, while the distance between Houston, US and Ghana is 5,513 nautical miles, the distance between Houston, US and Beijing, China is 6,276 nautical miles. While some rationalize the higher fares by arguing that Africa has less traffic volume, it must be noted that flights to/from African countries are often overbooked (as noted in item 4 below).[/b]2. The rudeness of most European airline staff to Africans is serious enough to bother any human being with a conscience. Africans at European airports are simply ignored, snubbed and downrightly disrespected. In fact, a substantial number of African passengers feel frustrated when trying to ask European flight attendants and the staff any question concerning their connecting flights. Furthermore, the quality of food and refreshment offered in flights to and from African countries leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, food served to passengers leaving Europe for Africa are in much smaller portion than those served to passengers from North America to Europe. While drinks are served to the passengers (mostly Westerners) from North America to Europe in whole bottles and cans, passengers from Europe to Africa (mostly Africans) are served with small plastic cups; higher fares paid by Africans notwithstanding.

3. In violation of moral code, mosquito and other insect killing chemicals (well-known to be dangerously harmful to humans) are being sprayed in the passenger areas of these European airplanes right before leaving Africa for Europe. In fact, what is shocking to any human being with a conscience is that these hazardous chemicals are sprayed WHILE African passengers are seated in these flights. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are the worst in this regard. Africans are human beings; they are not insects.

4. Any one traveling from North America to Africa via Europe will note that airplanes on the Trans-Atlantic route are much newer and with much legroom, while those leaving Europe for Africa are much older and crampy. Africans deserve similar newer planes with similar legroom as those flying to and from North America and Europe.

5. Overbooking of flights to and from Africa by European airlines is well known, especially flights returning from Africa. It is also well known that some Africans have been stranded due to the overbooking of flights. Stories of some Africans waiting for days to be rebooked are common. No doubt, those stranded Africans suffer not only apparent inconveniences, but in addition and most importantly, financial losses.

6. African passengers, more often than not, have been singled out by some European airline officials and treated as criminals. As such, Africans have been subjected to the most unwarranted and humiliating search at European airports. Alitalia and Lufthansa are the worst in this strip-search. Some Africans have been stripped almost Unclad in the process of being searched. While we recognize the need for tighter security at airports, it is a well-known fact that Africans have long been subjected to strip-search at Western airports. Strip-searching only Africans is a gross violation of their fundamental human rights. Africans, like any other group of human beings, deserve respect and dignity.

Painfully noting the above injustice, mistreatment and sheer disrespect of Africans by the European airline officials, and the regrettable fact that so many African governments are indifferent to the sufferings of their own people, we, the signatories to this petition call for immediate action to remedy these gross abuses of human rights. We believe that addressing these concerns will be beneficial not only to Africans, but to the airlines, as well as humanity in general.

http://www.liberateafrica.org/petition.html

Ndipe's comment: Interesting facts that the authors brought up, because I never realized that the distance between Houston to Nigeria was about the shorter than the trip from Houston to Beijin. But still, why must we look up to the west to 'remedy' this problem for us? Cant we start our own airlines and just boycott the western airlines instead of complaining and beating around the bush?

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17 answers

My guy, you are so wrong.

Have you forgotten about that word called "competition" or the words "demand and supply"

How many airlines ply the lagos - ghana route? For starters, the airlines are african airlines so you can say that we're ripping ourselves off.

How many people fly on this route? Is this a favourable destination? Correct me if am wrong but a lot of people would rather drive from lagos to ghana. I hear they even have airconditioned bus transportation for about 7000 -10, 000 naira. Do you expect airfare to be the same as ground transportation. 32,000 naira to ghana is fair enough and stop complaining.

How can you compare the route to HK - Beijing. What a lousy comparison. I bet the number of people on that route is 25 times higher than the lagos-ghana route.

If they have more passengers flying on a certain route, the prices are bound to reduce.

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Newbie

This is true,

Imagine from Nigeria to Ghana, cost 400usd . 45 mins flight - TWO WAYS

compared to beijing - HK 400usd 3hrs 30 mins, flight - TWO WAYS

Why is this so? poo!! those airlines are ripping us in Africa, BIG THEIFS! abi no be the same fuel them dey use fly!! funniest thing, dey tend to pay the staff so LOW in africa compared to the ones in abroad!!!

I tire, Y AFRICA?

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Newbie

Bare with me, ups and downs, smiles and frowns.

Share with me, fairy tales i make the lead

One day i would travel. I just dream the day i will found myself in an aeroplane flying to the country of my dream. To God be the glory.

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Newbie

You should also take not of the transfer points involved in your itinerary. Be it Stop-Overs or Transits.

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Newbie

@Topic

The fares are right. Traveling to the US from South East Asia//Korea,Japan/South West Pacific is lower compare to traveling from Africa to the US. Why this is so is because you travel[b] via the pacific[/b] when you are traveling from the South East Asia/Korea,Japan and the South West Pacific. You don't have to fly across cities compared to how many cities you will fly across if you are traveling from Africa to the US before you fly across the Atlantic. The Global Indicator is used to construct fares. The more city you fly across the higher your fare is.

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3. In violation of moral code, mosquito and other insect killing chemicals (well-known to be dangerously harmful to humans) are being sprayed in the passenger areas of these European airplanes right before leaving Africa for Europe. In fact, what is shocking to any human being with a conscience is that these hazardous chemicals are sprayed WHILE African passengers are seated in these flights. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are the worst in this regard. Africans are human beings; they are not insects.

to be honest, ive seen this happen on a flight from the UK to the US. It was American Airline.

ive never ever experienced seen this on a flight to or from africa.

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Newbie

Total Bullshit.

The airfares are just about the same. I bet the seasons used for comparison were different.

It depends on when/where you buy your tickets.

I once paid for a flight on KLM that cost $950 from houston to lagos while someone on the same flight paid $1600

You also have to consider competition.

For one, the only direct flight from the states is Delta airlines right now. What do you expect?

Airlines always change when they get competition.

For instance, KLM and co have cancelled the unnecessary transit visas for Nigerians. Guess what, they really didn't have a choice since most Nigerians going to the U.S don't need their bullshit transit airport anymore. I'd rather fly directly than have to go through unnecessary transit chaos.

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Newbie

yea africans are charged more

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Newbie

la vie est belle .

no to risky my life am a mother .

just want a direct flight to Lagos .

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Newbie

so

if thats true, i would be flying to Cotonou;

Anyway, they are taking care of their ex-colonies meanwhile the BA/Virgin milking us. 

Cest la vie

why not fly to Cotonou and drive to Lagos or fly to Yaoude and drive to Calabar.

the 700Euro would make some family/friends happy :-)

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Newbie

Air France is always expensive going to nigeria but, going to francophone countries is less price 700 euros .

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thats normal, buying ticket less than 2month to travel is more expensive than buying about 4months ahead.

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landis

when you buy ticket late, you have to pay more.

corrections

i'm not going for xmas just to burial my late daddy this january .

i got the ticket at 1500 euros

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Generally, things are more EXPENSIVE in Africa compare to other part of the world.

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Newbie

well, I'll check the airline information if possible, since I dont really know much about all this.

But I thought Koreans sometimes travelled to Korea via a stopover at Alaska. I checked Houston to Tokyo and the minimum fare I got was $1085 for a nonstop flight. Lagos was $1284 lowest fare.

the article was written a while back so maybe something happened since then. However, there've been quite a few complaints about the customer service on many of the airlines though. A lot of the problems may be related to Sept 11 and terrorism, not to mention drug trafficking.

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Newbie

when you buy ticket late, you have to pay more.

always plan your trip well in advance

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the worst air France, yesterday i went to air France office to buy a ticket for Nigeria they told me is 2000 euros .

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