It is normal for any airline agencies that when a flight is cancelled, the expected thing to do is to ensure that the passengers get a comfortable place to spend the hours until their next flight.
But this is not exactly what happened. In a case of racial discrimination, the officials of Air Maroc booked all their American passengers on the cancelled flights into hotels after a flight set to leave at 9am was cancelled and rescheduled for 9pm the following day.
But they were ready to let Africans sleep in the airport for more than 24 hours until their next flight.
A Liberian minister, Eugene Fahngon, wanted nothing to do with this discrimination. In a video that has since gone viral, the minister could be seen calling out the officials of Air Maroc for their racism.
“We can not charge the Liberian [passengers] ticket $ 1,600 and let them sleep on the ground while the American passengers, who also paid $ 1,600, have a hotel room,” he says in the video.
He could be heard threatening the officials with a lawsuit the moment the plane lands in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.
“Pay 100 dollars for each person or you will pay them hundreds of dollars,” he was heard saying.
Liberia's Minister Eugene Fahngon engaging Air Maroc officials for discriminating.
A 9am scheduled flight was cancelled and rescheduled for 9pm the next day. U.S passengers were given hotel rooms whilst Liberians and other Africans were left to sleep on the floor at the terminal pic.twitter.com/JCcf9syjjQ
— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) August 19, 2018
We kindly remind our passengers in transit that a visa is required for some nationalities to exit the airport and therefore get access to hotels.
Thank you for your understanding.
— RAM Assistance (@RAM_Assistance) August 18, 2018
Thank God I don’t fly this airline.
Listen, YOU as the service provider are the ones who messed up- those people DID NOT WANT ENTRY INTO YOUR COUNTRY. YOU**** delayed & kept them there & so YOU should‘ve prioritized ALL your passengers & made them comfortable. It’s common sense.
— ThickCurvesSensation (@BrooklynVyolesa) August 19, 2018
This is not an excuse! Airport immigration should be able give temporary visas to get passengers out for the night. This has happened to me times before with @KLM and officers at @Schiphol took care of it easily. They are your passengers, it is your delay so your responsibility!
— Tina Musoke (@tinamusoke) August 20, 2018
What’s impressive is that the deputy minister who has a diplomatic pass refused to enjoy the benefits of his privileged status when his fellow Liberians and other Africans were suffering.
According to reports, the Airline was able to get temporary visas and hotels for the Africans in the video which was almost two months old by the time it was making rounds online.
The airline has since reiterated that some of the passengers on transit in Morocco need a visa to exit the airport.
So you reschedule a flight and commonsense doesnt tell you to put the passengers in a hotel if its more than 4 hours delay
— fueksy megs (@fueksy) August 19, 2018
However, not everyone is buying the response from Air Maroc.
Il faut voyager sur @RAM_Maroc pour apprécier le niveau du traitement raciste dû aux noirs y compris dans l'avion et à l'aéroport. Mais combien d'officiers ivoiriens, Burkinabés, Guinéens, Sénégalais voyagent avec la RAM pour apprécier ce traitement raciste ?
— Bramavie (@Bramavie) August 19, 2018
Shame. And they wanted Africa's support to host the Fifa World Cup
— Douglas Okwatch (@okwatch_douglas) August 19, 2018
Our leaders have to have these mindset to always stand up for the interest of their people.
Liberians must be proud of having such
— M U Z H A 🇳🇬 (@muzhakucha) August 19, 2018