DFA: Filipina teen bound for Brazil finally allowed to fly out of KL

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An Air France-KLM plane on an airport tarmac. The airline reportedly prevented an 18-year-old indigenous Filipino woman, who was en route to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day from boarding on her onward flight on July 20 at the Kuala Lumpur airport because she appeared “not ready to travel” even if she had a folder with full documentation supporting her trip to Brazil. PHOTO FROM AIRFRANCEKLM-FINANCE.COM

MANILA, Philippines — The Filipino teen barred from boarding her connecting flight to Brazil from Kuala Lumpur was finally able to push through with her trip to participate in the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Tuesday.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia, DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said that 18-year-old Arjean Marie Belco took a KLM Airlines flight on Tuesday after her sponsor, GoodX.org, managed to rebook her connecting flight to Brazil.

“Upon learning of the incident, our Embassy in Kuala Lumpur immediately contacted Ms. Arjean Belco to inquire about her situation and find out how it could help. She informed the Embassy that a representative from Goodx.org was already taking care of the arrangements,” Hernandez said in a text message on Tuesday.

“Per the information we received this morning, Goodx.org was able to resolve the situation and Arjean is on her way to Brazil,” he said.

Belco, a native of Bukidnon’s Talaandig tribe, was denied boarding her connecting KLM flight from Kuala Lumpur to Brazil, her sponsor said in a Facebook post. An airline employee allegedly said Belco appeared “not ready to travel,” doubting why she was flying to Brazil through Malaysia.

GoodX.org and partner organization Cartwheel Foundation had pooled contributions to fly Belco, an education student, to the global event to be graced by Pope Francis. The pontiff arrived in Brazil on Monday.

The DFA did not comment when asked whether the incident warranted an investigation.

Related story:

KLM Airlines’ denial of Filipino WYD delegate’s flight hit

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Kronos2

    An investigation is definitely warranted as to why Filipinos are subject to degrading treatment by airline employees of other countries. I wonder why PAL sucks up to caucasian and other foreign passengers and not taking care more of our fellow kabayans.

    • Chrisnadal19

      this is about KLM, ba’t mo naman sinama ang PAL. mga ePALoids talaga.

    • takeno12

      Agree with Chris- what has PAL got to do with this story?!
      The tone of your comment betrays your ignorance and prejudice. Stick to the story instead of making ludicrous off topic generalizations.

      • Kronos2

        You missed my point that curstomer service of other airlines tend to pick on Filipino travellers as unworthy passengers. PAL on the other hand gives better service inflight to caucasian than Filipinos. I’ve witnessed this a number of times that’s why I book myself with other better airlines instead. Ever wonder why PAL is never on the top 10 airlines even if it were the FIRST ASIAN AIRLINE? So pathetic.

    • siegfeil

      kabayan hindi ka yata sumsakay nang PAL. They take care of Filipino passengers more than the foreigners. I enjoy riding PAL MNL to LA or SFO vv direct flights yan before MNL to Frankfurt, Germany vv MNL to Riyadh vv. I wondered why PAL lost these routes, mukhang discrimination from EU. PAL pilots are I think one of the best, wala pa akong nabalitaan na international crash yan unlike United Airlines, Delta, Saudia, Air France. etc.

      • Kronos2

        Then continue flying PAL. I still wont. Tisoy or maputi ka siguro.

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    I’ve heard that the teen was wearing bahag in celebration of her tribe. Is it any reason why she was barred from boarding a flight?

    • siegfeil

      hahahahahaha!!!!

    • joboni96

      mata pobre
      ang boylet na ito

    • ApoNiLolo

      You’re just trying to be funny… right?

  • joboni96

    mga abogadong pilipino
    pwede ng pagkaperahan ito

    maproprotektahan pa ang
    dangal ng pilipino

    damage suit kaagad
    for $10 million

    • ZestyZombie

      such comment does not help our plight being a corrupt nation. Fighting for our rights does not tantamount to money in our pocket. If we want to be respected, we should act respectable. Respect is earned, not given for free.

      • joboni96

        zombi ka talaga
        that’s the way you earn their respect

        pag na $10 mil mo yan
        hindi na uulitin yan sa aming pilipino

      • ZestyZombie

        You think? Alam mo ba kung ilang kaso ng abused passengers were lined up in court and actually won!!! Did that stop the abuse? I think not. That’s because they do not think much of us Filipinos! Why? because of people like you who do not show much respect for yourself. Show them how incorruptible you are and maybe they will think twice. Monetary compensation is never an enough sanction. Public and personal apology is far more noble. BTW, Filipino rin ako, but I am truly ashame that there are people like who walk among us.

  • Noel

    If she were of a different nationality, would the Malaysian Airline treated her the same?

  • yew_tan

    No monkeys allowed aboard the cabin please. Should be stowed in the baggage compartment.

    • ZestyZombie

      Really??? is that the best you can say? I would shut my mouth if I were you.

  • ronnie

    paulanan nyo ng post sa facebook ang KLM, andun sila sa facebook. sabi ko sa KLM facebook, apology needed from mr shawa. and i asked KLM if they are racist.

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