But “The Grand Budapest Hotel” star gets apology from Mexican airline after being barred from flight for refusing to remove his turban in public
American actor and fashion designer Waris Ahluwalia remains in Mexico City, more than 24 hours after being barred from his AeroMexico flight to New York for refusing to remove his turban at security.
The actor, who starred in Wes Anderson‘s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and is a practicing Sikh whose religion requires him to wear a turban in public, posted an update to his Instagram account on Tuesday.
“Good morning from Mexico City,” he wrote. “On this day, and each day hereafter we must remember that our struggle against fear and ignorance is fought with love. That is the only way forward for humanity.”
The actor wrote on social media Monday that his first-class boarding pass had a marking on it indicating that he needed to go through a special secondary security screening. Once at the gate, he was taken aside, searched, swabbed and patted down, but he refused to take off his turban.
After being denied a private screening, he was told that he could not get on the plane — or on any other AeroMexico flight — until he complied with the security procedures.
Ahluwalia later told The Washington Post that he denied offers by AeroMexico and other airlines offering him other flights back to New York, and was instead refusing to leave Mexico City until he received a public apology from the airline and Sikh awareness training for airport employees.
AeroMexico posted a response to its website on Monday night, apologizing to Ahluwalia for the ordeal.
“This case motivates us to ensure that security personnel strengthen its care protocols, always respecting the cultural and religious values of customers,” the airline wrote.