Dr. Chryssa Dislis, a telecoms manager living with her family in Cork, Ireland, was the most recent victim of an irrational discriminating behavior launched against her by the Irish Airlines Aer Lingus, which forced her to take a bilingual (English – Greek) test before allowing her to board the plane back home.
The Greek woman, along with her husband and little daughter, were stopped at the check-in of the airport of Barcelona with the excuse that she had to fill in the lingual questionnaire because many people from her country are travelling with false papers. Moreover, the staff of the airlines refused to look at any other elements of her ID and completely ignored the fact that she was the holder of a biometric passport.
Dislis reacted to the demand by saying this questionnaire had no legal basis and her fluency in both languages would prove nothing in relation to her holding a Greek passport. To this, the Aer Lingus staff removed her luggage from the plane.
Having no other choice but to complete the test in order to get on the plane, Dislis accepted to comply with the airlines’ demand, but asked the company for copies of the tests. The staff refused to give her the copies as part of the company’s security policy. Her husband took pictures of the tests with his mobile phone, but when the staff realized that they called the police.
Dislis filed a compaint against the subcontractor, who forced her to submit the bilingual test, as well as the Airlines. The subcontractor, Newco Corp., has apologized to Dislis for the disturbing incident but confirmed that the lingual test is part of its established policy lines, since there have been many false Greek papers found. Additionally, Aer Lingus has apologized for the incident with a printed apology and a 200 Euro voucher, noting, however, that the company is subject to fines for allowing to passengers with false papers to fly on its planes.
The incident has become a key issue for all Irish media, and Dislis, who has been living in Ireland since 1998, commented that the Greek embassy in Dublin had no knowledge of biometric passports being falsified. Moreover, she told the local media that she was sure the whole incident was raised because of her nationality, since none of the staff members knew Greek to check her answers afterwards.