Your Rights as an Airline Passenger

As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. It is illegal for law enforcement officials to perform any stops, searches, detentions, or removals based solely on your race, religion, national origin, sex, or ethnicity.

If you believe you have been treated in a discriminatory manner, you should:

  • Ask for the names and ID number of all persons involved in the incident. Be sure to write down this information.
  • Ask to speak to a supervisor.
  • Politely ask if you have been singled out because of your name, looks, dress, race, ethnicity, faith, or national origin.
  • Politely ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.
  • Write a statement of facts immediately after the incident. Be sure to include the flight number, the flight date and the name of the airline.
  • Contact CAIR to file a report. If you are leaving the country, leave a detailed message with the information above at 202-488-8787 or at www.cair.com.

It is important to note the following:

  • A customs agent has the right to stop, detain and search every person and item.
  • Screeners have the authority to conduct a further search of you or your bags.
  • A pilot has the right to refuse to fly a passenger if he or she believes the passenger is a threat to the safety of the flight. The pilot"™s decision must be reasonable and based on observations, not stereotypes. (Special thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union.)


No-Fly List and Selectee List

Individuals experiencing difficulties during travel at airports, train stations or U.S. borders may be on either the no-fly or selectee list.

It is very difficult to determine if you are on one of these lists.

You may be on the selectee list if you are unable to use the internet or the airport kiosks for automated check-in and instead have to check in at the ticketing counter. You should eventually be permitted to fly.

The no-fly list, on the other hand, prohibits individuals from flying at all. If you are able to board an airplane, regardless of the amount of questioning or screening, then you are not on the no-fly list.

If you are constantly subjected to advanced screening or are prevented from boarding your flight, you should file a complaint with DHS TRIP at www.dhs.gov/trip. Most people who file with DHS TRIP are not actually on a watch list and that service can resolve most problems.

Contact CAIR to file a report at 202-488-8787 or www.cair.com if you are experiencing difficulties traveling.

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Islamophobia Report

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1995 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

1995- A Rush to Judgement

1996 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

1996 - The price of ignorance

1997 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

1997- Unveiling Predjudice

1998 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

1998- Patterns of Discrimination

1999 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

1999- Expressions of Faith

2001 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

WRONG IMAGE SIZE2001-Accommodating Diversity

2003 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

2003- Guilt by Association

2004 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

2004-unpatriotic-act

2005 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

2005- Unequal Protection

2006 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

2006- The Struggle for Equality

2007 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

2007- Presumption of Guilt

2008 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

2008- Without Fear of Discrimination

2009 - CAIR Civil Rights Report

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