Hong Kong (CNN) — A Hong Kong-centered airline has apologized after it demanded a passenger get a check to prove she was not expecting in advance of boarding a flight to the US Pacific island of Saipan.
Very low-charge carrier Hong Kong Specific came underneath criticism just after a 25-calendar year-old Japanese girl said airline team demanded her to take a “match-to-fly” evaluation, which provided a pregnancy test, when she was examining in for a flight at Hong Kong International Airport.
“It was very humiliating and aggravating,” she explained to the Wall Road Journal, incorporating that the airline indicated the check was necessary for women of all ages “observed to have a body dimension or form resembling a pregnant woman.”
The report claimed airline personnel then escorted her to a washroom and handed her a pregnancy take a look at, barring her from boarding until the test came back again unfavorable.
“We would like to apologize for the distress induced,” the airline, which was obtained by Cathay Pacific in July very last year, claimed in a statement to CNN.
Hong Kong Express has apologized for earning a female acquire a pregnancy examination.
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The statement claimed the airline was under tension from authorities in Saipan to move up checks on travellers.
“We took actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019 to help make certain US immigration rules have been not being undermined,” it claimed.
“Under our new administration, we acknowledge the significant considerations this practice has prompted. We have immediately suspended the practice whilst we evaluate it.”
Saipan, aspect of the US commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, has emerged as a most loved place for “start tourism” — the observe of overseas nationals giving beginning on US soil to guarantee their toddlers grow to be American citizens.
This is largely because of to its unique immigration coverage from the US mainland, which lets citizens from some nations, these kinds of as China, to take a look at without a visa, even although they would want 1 for other components of America.
In new several years, beginning tourism has grow to be so rampant in the commonwealth that far more babies are born to travelers than its permanent residents.
In 2018, holidaymakers gave start to 582 babies on the islands, even though only 492 have been born to lasting people, in accordance to figures from the Northern Mariana Overall health and Essential Data Workplace. Chinese tourists accounted for most of the births — of the 582 that year, 575 associated Chinese citizens.
The Northern Mariana Islands had a populace of just in excess of 50,000, according to US Census estimates in 2018.
The recognition of start tourism in Saipan has prompted authorities to just take action, this sort of as placing pressures on airlines to screen travellers. In July, the commonwealth’s House of Associates also handed a resolution seeking to limit birthright citizenship on the islands.
In the US, the legal basic principle of jus soli immediately confers citizenship on babies born on US soil. Though there is no federal regulation banning tourists who are pregnant from getting into the US or providing delivery in the state, the state has earlier arrested persons who ran “delivery tourism” functions over conspiracy to dedicate immigration fraud and visa fraud.