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An App for Flying Right

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
June 2012
An App for Flying Right Next time you take a flight and feel that you’re being treated unfairly by airport screeners, just remember: there’s an app for that. The Sikh Coalition has launched a free mobile application called FlyRights that allows travelers to instantly complain about racial profiling or other unfair treatment to the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration.

While the Sikh Coalition receives hundreds of complaints about unfair treatment and profiling, the Department of Homeland Security reported receiving complaints from only 11 people in the U.S. in the first six month of 2011, said Amardeep Singh, the coalition’s program director.

“My hope is that this app will exponentially  increase the number of complaints filed with the TSA, flood the system so they get that this is a problem,” Singh told the Associated Press. “For too long the Transportation Security Administration has been able to tell  Congress this is not an issue, nobody’s complaining.”

Turban-wearing Sikh men are often targeted for extra screening at airports, sometimes being asked to remove their turbans. “There’s literally no way, no policy or screening method for us to go through that doesn’t literally strip us of our dignity, each time,” Hansdeep Singh of the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination told NPR.

The FlyRights app can be downloaded at http://flyrights.org. If the app doesn’t work for your phone, you may complain to the Sikh Coalition. Sorry, there’s no app for that.


Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

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