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Opinions of Monday, 19 December 2011

Columnist: Akosua

United and Delta Airlines unfair treatment of African customers

In the past few years, United and Delta Airlines have begun flying direct routes from several US cities to Accra, Ghana. These routes are extremely profitable for United and Delta as an economy class ticket during high season can easily cost more than $2,000. For consumers, it is much more convenient to take a direct flight on United or Delta then to have a 4-12 hour layover in Europe or the Middle East. So why are these airlines treating their African customers unfairly?

While this partnership should have been a win-win for both the business and customer, sadly this is not the case. Airplanes used on these routes are older models planes which often have mechanical problems causing flights to be delayed or cancelled. There have been instances of broken bathrooms forcing passengers to use ONE bathroom for a 10+ hour transatlantic flight. Customer service, from check-in at the airports to the flight attendants, is terrible on these routes with customers feeling discriminated, helpless and victimized. It is normal to witness African customers being yelled at, insulted, or ignored. Excess baggage fees for these African routes are the industry’s highest.

While both of these airlines ‘claim’ that they strive to improve the experience of travel, United and Delta are sending their African customers a different message;* that they don't value the business of their African customers or those wishing to travel to Africa as much as other their customers*. We must join together to hold Delta and United to the same level of respect that they show others. My fellow Ghanaians, we have kept quiet for too long. We MUST demand at minimum the same respect and treatment that United and Delta provide to their European or Asian customers. We have all worked hard for our dollars, pounds and euros as their other customers and our money should go just as far.

Please sign a petition that has been started at the link below to urge United and Delta airlines to provide newer planes for these lucrative routes, demand better customer service and adjust excess baggage fees.

* https://www.change.org/petitions/stop-unfair-treatment-of-african-customers*

Please send the petition and link to as many of your friends, colleagues and associates as possible. We are aiming at a minimum of 10,000 signatures. Each of which goes directly to the Presidents/CEOs and other key management at United and Delta. We must stand up for ourselves and demand fair treatment as no one will do it for us.

Thank you,

Akosua

Akosua1982@gmail.com