Liberia: Egypt Air, Air France Sued for US$250k in Damages for Alleged Discrimination


Monrovia – Two airlines operating in Liberia, Air France, and Egypt Air, have been dragged to court on Action of Damages for Wrong and Discrimination by a Liberian legal practitioner, Cllr. Secular Y. Edwards.

The two airlines were dragged to the Civil Law Court on allegations of pain, agony, mental anguish, ill-treatment, and inhumane suffering meted by them against the complainant.

Cllr. Edwards is demanding from the two airlines punitive damages to the tune of not less than US$25,000 (Twenty-Five Thousand US Dollars) as a deterrent from Air France and Egypt Air from committing similar acts against other private Liberians who do not have American or European Passports.

According to Cllr. Edwards in the complaint to the court, he purchased two round trip tickets from the management of Egypt Air, 1st Defendant in the proceeding to travel to Delhi, India along with his sister and was issued booking Ref#U5Z47U, to depart Liberia on December 10, 2021, on Air France, Flight #AF-533 owned and operated by 2nd Defendant to attend his annual medical checkup, because he (Cllr. Edwards) underwent triple by-pass heart surgery in India in 2019.

According to the complainant, he departed Liberia on Thursday, December 10 and underwent all his medical procedures, and was expected to depart India on February 20, 2021.

However, the complainant noted that in keeping with his ticket, he arrived at the Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi, India on February 20, 2021, to depart, since the flight departure was scheduled for the same Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 4:05 am but were later informed by Air France Customer Service Agent at Indira Gandhi Airport that due to bad weather, the flight from Delhi to Paris on Air France scheduled for that day will be delayed.

Accordingly, they were informed that as soon they get an order from the Air Traffic Controller, they will be taking off, something that causes the flight to depart Indira Airport, Delhi, India between 5:15-5:30, AM, India time and that upon arrival at the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France on Air France during the morning, the flight for Paris-Bamako-Monrovia had already left Paris, causing the complainant to miss the flight for Monrovia.

The complainant also noted that he and his sister were further told by a white lady who was an employee of Air France that there was no other flight available from Paris to Monrovia on that day, promising to provide the accommodation (lodging) and feeding since they were not at the fault of the delay.

 “Plaintiff says that after going through the serious headache and waiting for little over 10 (Ten) hours at which time the female Counter Agent left, plaintiff again went to the counter to inquire about lodging and feeding bit only to surprisingly be told by another Counter Agent, this time a grey-hair white man that they cannot be given accommodation.

Besides, the complainant said after going through insults and acts of discrimination by said Counter Agent, he immediately called the Management of Egypt Air (1st Respondent), the ticket agent in Monrovia on Whatsapp, informing them about the illegal treatment meted against him by Air France in Paris who then promised to do everything possible to provide accommodation.

“1st Defendant then later asked Plaintiff whether he had American Passport to allow the complainant to be given accommodation, where 1st Defendant is fully aware that plaintiff did travel with a Liberian Passport for medical purpose and did received a Liberian Passport from plaintiff during the purchase of the ticket from 1st Defendant,” the court document stated.

As a result, the complainant said he was therefore made and forced to sleep on the bare floor in the Charles De Gaulle Airport Terminal in Paris, France while other white passengers missed their flight from Delhi due to some bad weather given accommodation.

 Nevertheless, the complainant noted that upon their arrival in Liberia, he through his lawyers wrote two separate communications to both Air France and Egypt Air, but we’re never honored.

Moreover, the complainant maintained that the 1st and 2nd Defendants, despite being fully aware that the purpose of his travel was to attend the medical show,  the defendants had no feeling for human lives which has caused him to suffer serious discrimination, body pains, and psychological trauma for which damages will lie against defendants.