A plane passenger claims he was a victim of racial discrimination after allegedly being accused of stealing a woman’s iPhone.
Hemen Karim was flying home from a holiday in Morrocco when he found the phone in departures.
The 38-year-old, who has lived in Sheffield for 16 years and is originally from Iraq, said that after approaching a few travellers to see if the phone was theirs, he decided to hang on to it until he arrived in Gatwick.
During the flight the phone was reported missing and Hemen handed it back to what he said was a very happy passenger via an equally pleased flight attendant.
But he said he was then confronted by a TUI manager who accused him of stealing the mobile.
Hemen, who travelled in May this year, has now received an apology from the company – but TUI has denied racial discrimination.
He said: ‘If I’d passed it to staff in Agadir that woman would never have got her phone back. It was an expensive iPhone and it would’ve had pictures from the holiday and all of her contacts.
‘So I was going to ask people in the plane and if not I would pass it to staff in Gatwick.’
He said the manager who ‘accused him’ of theft ‘didn’t want to listen’.
Hemen added: ‘He was proper angry, I don’t know if he has anger issues or something. I looked around and I was the only Asian person on the plane so I felt like he targeted me.
‘He made me feel proper uncomfortable and I had just tried to help somebody.
‘There was no other reason for him to humiliate me.’
Six months after complaining, TUI sent an email stating: ‘I am very sorry that you were disappointed with our previous reply, and that this remains a source of disappointment for you.
‘It was a genuine and open apology for the upset you experienced.
‘I do understand that you felt really uncomfortable and embarrassed because of the staff member Greg on the flight. Let me offer you my sincere apologies on this occasion.’
They continued: ‘Your comment in regards to the rudeness shown has been passed on and is being taken very seriously. I am sorry for any disappointment caused but there is nothing further we can do.’
Asked to respond to the allegations, a TUI Airways spokesperson said: ‘We’re sorry to hear if Mr Karim was unhappy with the way he feels he was spoken to, however, we have a zero tolerance approach to discriminatory behaviour of any kind.
‘Our crew simply wanted to remind him, as they would with any customer, of the right way to report lost property to protect everyone involved.
‘If anyone finds lost property, we encourage customers to hand it in to a member of staff to record it and help it be returned to its rightful owner as quickly as possible.’
The post Man says he was victim of racism when he tried to return lost iPhone appeared first on News Wire Now.