Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I wrote an email. Here it is in it's entirety:

To Whom It May Concern:

Earlier today I was told by my friend Sea Ganschow of an incident regarding Flight 218 on June 11. She stood and watched Gilbert Tuhabonye, an African genocide survivor and published author (his book is available here)- be discriminated against by Michael Coe, one of your employees. Gilbert was in Denver on a book-signing tour, as well as to do a 10K run. She informed me that she stood and watched Gilbert attempt to buy a non-guaranteed ticket one hour before the flight was to leave (which was plenty of time, well within the airport's requirements), and Coe said to him, "You're not going anywhere," and refused to sell the ticket to him. When Gilbert asked if he could at least check his bags, Coe called security and three guards showed up.

Michael Coe then sold the ticket to another customer, who was white. Gilbert Tuhabonye is a very dark-skinned African man covered in burn scars, and that's because in 1993 members of the Hutu tribe kidnapped him from school, beat him, and then attempted to burn him alive. Everyone with him died, and he was the only survivor.

As an African American woman, this incident offends me to no end. The other customer was just as late as Gilbet Tuhabonye, so why did Michael Coe choose to sell the ticket to them instead? It should also be noted that Mr. Tuhabonye was not hostile, which takes justification away from the fact that Michael Coe called security. Your employee has insulted a very noble and important person, someone who has the power to change our world for the better...and since Coe works for you, that means that you are just as guilty as he is. It is now your responsbility to make amends for this transgression, and I suggest that the first step would be making Michael Coe personally apologize to Mr. Tuhabonye, then having him undergo some sort of customer service sensitivity training with a focus on racial issues. If Michael Coe has too much pride for this action, then I would think that he would no longer be wanted or needed as an employee of Frontier Airlines.

You can't have people working for your airline who are going to let their personal politics affect the way they regard your customers. It makes Denver look bad, it makes Frontier Airlines look even worse, and it affirms my decision to never fly with you. Please respond and let me know how you intend to deal with Michael Coe and your employees' sensitivity problems. I know that I am not the only person that has contacted you about this matter.

Rashaun Ellis
Cleveland, Mississippi


Blogger Professor Zero said...

I'll be very interested to find out how the airline responds to all of this. Amazing story.

1:16 PM PDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
Join | List | Previous | Next | Random | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Skip Previous | Skip Next
Powered by RingSurf