November 22, 2021 (New York, NY) — As people across the United States consider travel plans in the months ahead, the Sikh Coalition is proud to re-launch our FlyRights tool, which allows Sikh travellers to report instances of discrimination and harrassment by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in our nation’s airports.
“Since 2012, thousands of Sikh travellers have used FlyRights to share their experiences, which allow us to provide critical feedback to the TSA and identify which airports need additional training” said Sim J. Singh Attariwala, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy. “We are grateful to our colleagues at Parsus Solutions for helping us to update and optimize FlyRights so that this important work can continue.”
TSA agents, for instance, may claim that rules require them to touch your turban or patka. If you are denied the opportunity to pat-down your own articles of faith, or feel that you have otherwise been subjected to discrimination, take note of the officer’s name and immediately file a complaint right from your smartphone or laptop by using the FlyRights website. Your reports of discrimination through FlyRights are a critical means of holding the TSA accountable.
In addition to bookmarking FlyRights, we urge those with travel plans to review the Sikh Coalition’s TSA: Know Your Rights Guide, which is vetted by the TSA and is compatible with the latest TSA screening procedures and regulations. The resource is completely free to download and available in English and Punjabi, containing detailed information on airport screening procedures and your rights as a traveler. The Sikh Coalition remains committed to holding the TSA accountable, both through sharing resources like these and our broader advocacy, including the ongoing development of a comprehensive, updated training for TSA agents, prior testimony on Capitol Hill in 2019, and supporting the Screening with Dignity Act to address discriminatory profiling at our nation’s airports against religious minorities, racial minorities, and transgender travelers.
Note that some travelers have reported that they experience less secondary screening with enrollment in the TSA Pre✓® program. Additionally, you can request copies of our “The Sikhs” educational brochures before you travel internationally. This free resource is available in 18 different languages. To get free printed copies of this or any other resource, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, it is important to consider your health if you plan on travelling amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. You can review our summary of the Centers for Disease Control’s April travel guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in English or Punjabi; we also have information about the Biden Administration’s policies with respect to vaccination for international travellers, effective earlier this month. You can find other relevant COVID-19 and vaccine information on our website.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.