Nov 29, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

UK airline drops Afrikaans test for SA travellers: BBC

Ryanair has suspended a controversial test in Afrikaans aimed at identifying passengers traveling with fake SA passports, the BBC reported.

The broadcaster quoted the airline’s boss, Michael O’ Leary, in saying it enforced the test, which sparked a storm of outrage in SA, “makes no sense”.

Bloomberg previously reported that the low-cost airline imposed the measure to stop the use of counterfeit prevent passes. The quiz contained 15 general knowledge questions about SA, including a multiple-choice question to identify the nation’s capital, the side of the road people drive on, the name of the President, and the highest mountain in the country.

Reuters reported The Home Office had described the Ryanair policy as a “backward profiling scheme” that fails to recognize government efforts to crack down on fake passports.

The ministry said it “communicates regularly with all airlines to keep them up to date on validating SA passports, including the look and feel”.

All airlines have access to an advanced passenger processing system that allows them to screen travelers prior to departure . The government also operates a 24-hour service that airlines can use if they want to authenticate SA passports, the ministry said.

Support independent journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.