Delta passenger upset after being mistaken for human trafficking victim

5:32 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 Travel
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Delta Air Lines has for several years been pressuring the federal government to intervene against three foreign air carriers, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways. It says the carriers, based in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are unfairly subsidized by their oil-rich governments, violating the spirit of international aviation trade pacts. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A Delta Air Lines passenger is upset after being mistaken for a human trafficking victim.

Lawrenceville resident Stephanie Ung and her friend were returning from a birthday trip in Cancun and coming home to family on Thanksgiving when they were stopped and questioned by officials after the flight. Her brother Henry Ung described the incident in a Facebook post alleging racial discrimination.

Stephanie Ung, a 26-year-old kindergarten teacher in Gwinnett County, said "they just kept questioning me."

"I was embarrassed at the airport," Ung said. "I didn't do anything wrong.... This whole experience pretty much has me traumatized."

Delta said its flight attendants "are trained to look out for signs of possible trafficking." Amid a campaign to stop human trafficking in Atlanta and beyond, some airline and airport workers have been trained to look out for such signs.

Delta said in a written statement the two women were "observed by another customer to not be in possession of their passports -- a possible indicator of a human trafficking event. Delta took the concern seriously and contacted the appropriate authorities who addressed the customers upon landing."

"While their investigation did show that our customers were not being trafficked, we train our crew members to remain alert and use their professional experience and practice best judgment to ensure the safety of customers," the airline said.

Delta also said: "We do not tolerate discrimination and are troubled by any accusations of discrimination. We have reached out to speak with our customers directly."

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