Yazz Giraldo, the wife of a former FBI agent, alleged that a flight attendant locked her and her three-year-old son in an aeroplane bathroom before accusing them of starting a “terrorist” incident. Ms Giraldo, a mother of two, said she is traumatised by the experience and thinks she was singled out because she and her husband, Ali Moghaddam, spoke “Farsi (Persian)” to their children, as per a report in New York Post.
As per the outlet, the family was flying from Fort Lauderdale to New York in September for a wedding. At that time, her children urgently needed the restroom. She took her baby to the first-class bathroom closest to their seats at the front of the plane. She said that even though “everyone else” was using it, one flight attendant didn’t allow her to do so. She further changed the baby’s diaper towards the end of the plane, where her husband was sitting. According to a discrimination case she filed against American Airlines in Brooklyn Federal Court, a second flight attendant had informed her that there was no restriction on using the nearby lavatory and therefore she took her son there.
“I closed the door, and when I’m inside the bathroom I start hearing the noise, ‘tick, tick, tick. I freaked out. I was already under so much stress. … I started to panic, I banged on the door a few times and I said, ‘Let me out of here. She was punishing me for challenging her”
Ms Giraldo claimed she lost count of time inside the toilet and was “shaking” when she was released from the lavatory. A few minutes later, a supervisor scolded her in front of the other passengers, alleging that “the pilot decided to put the plane under terrorist attack warning because of you,” as per the outlet.
Further, the flight attendant accused Ms Giraldo of lying when she tried to explain that she had misunderstood the toilet situation and was confined inside with her baby on her chest.
“I immediately knew it was racism. I immediately knew I was being discriminated against,” she said, according to NYP.
However, Mr Moghaddam was unaware of the event until the police took them off the plane when it landed in New York.
He told the outlet, “I dedicated about a decade of my life to public service, to protecting the community. Joint Terrorism Task Force, undercover, S.W.A.T., all of this … for my family to be labelled as terrorists and be marched off a plane just because we want to change a diaper?”
As per the outlet, Ms Giraldo is now in therapy because of the incident. Meanwhile, American Airlines stated, “American strives to provide a positive and welcoming experience to everyone who travels with us and we take allegations of discrimination very seriously. We are reviewing the details of the lawsuit.”