Hong Kong Express Airways came under fire recently after an airline employee forced a passenger to take a pregnancy test before she was allowed to get on the flight.
Midori Nishaida, 25, was about to board a plane flying from Hong Kong to Saipan, a US Territory that is part of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Islands have gained popularity for travelers, and in particular pregnant women, as a place to give birth because it gives the newborns US citizenship eligibility.
Nishaida currently resides in Tokyo but was born on Saipan. When she arrived at the airport in November, she filled out paperwork and indicated she was not pregnant. However, the airline told her she had to take a pregnancy test before she could get on the flight. The test came back negative and she was then allowed to get on the flight.
She said the incident was “very humiliating and frustrating.” The airline did not initially respond to her complaints.
Hong Kong Express Airways apologized for forcing her to take the pregnancy test before getting on the flight. They had initially said they had given her the test as part of a “fit-to-fly” assessment, but later said it was an error on their part to give out the test in the first place.
“We would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who has been affected by this,” the airline told NBC News. “We took actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019 to help ensure US immigration laws were not being undermined. We have immediately suspended the practice while we review it.”
[Images via Shutterstock.]
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.