A group called the Sikh Coalition has launched a mobile phone app to give Sikh airport passengers a direct line of complaint that goes straight to the US Government.
Designed to be used in instances of unfair treatment, discrimination and other issues related to airport security, the FlyRights app is free to acquire and was given a worldwide launch on 30 April 2012.
As this article was being prepared, two FlyRights reports had already been submitted: one gender-based, the other religion-based. These, as with others to follow, will be looked into by both the US DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and the US TSA - the US Transport Security Administration.
According to the Sikh Coalition, US airports have been responsible for patting-down and unfairly treating Sikhs for many years and, at certain sites, secondary screening - one level up from standard screening - seems to be compulsory.
"The TSA asserts it doesn't profile", the Sikh Coalition's Director of Programs, Amardeep Singh, explains in the official FlyRights app launch press release. "All travellers now have an easy way of speaking to their government on the issue of airport profiling."
FlyRights is compatible with both Android phones and iPhones and it's already been given strong support by many. Says Senator Dick Durbin: "The vast majority of law enforcement officers perform their jobs honorably and courageously. Unfortunately, the inappropriate actions of the few who engage in racial profiling create mistrust and suspicion that hurts all law enforcement officers. This app is an important new tool that allows passengers to fight profiling."
"For too long, the TSA has kept a long leash on its screeners, telling them not to profile but taking no effective measures to stop it", adds Singh. "Until that happens, we call on the public to hold the TSA accountable by downloading the Fly-Rights app and filing reports when appropriate."
Sikh Airport Security Complaints
As reported by Airport International, in 2007 - over four years prior to this Sikh airport security complaints app's launch - the TSA introduced a new Sikh headwear policy, making it acceptable for turbans to be kept in place while airport security checks were in progress. This, though, would make the travellers in question subject to isolated pat down and screening procedures.
Under current TSA rules, screeners still have the right to ask Sikh passengers to remove their turbans but, equally, Sikhs can refuse this, so long as they explain the objects' religious significance.