On 10 February, KLM uneventfully operated a Boeing 777 between Amsterdam Schiphol, The Netherlands and Seoul, South Korea. Fearing infection by the recent corona virus outbreak (2019-nCoV), one of the crew members reserved a toilet “for crew members only” by writing a note in Korean only.
Pictures of the handwritten note quickly went viral, passenger Steve 인창 Ahn (Twitter: @steveahn82) accused KLM of discriminating against South Korean passengers because the sign was only in Korean. Twitters users used hashtag #boycottklm to show their anger.
On Friday, KLM executives bowed during a news conference in Seoul, publicly apologizing and saying they take allegations of discrimination “very seriously” and promising to prevent it from happening again. Adding that it was not a KLM policy to reserve toilets for crew.
Apparently, Koreans are not allowed to use the restroom at Royal Dutch Airline @KLM flight because all the Koreans look like sick people with the virus. Thanks for the amazing service of reminding me how White & Colored only restrooms must have felt back in the days. #stopracism pic.twitter.com/PFlKVEKoum
— Steve 인창 Ahn / COMMISSION Closed (@steveahn82) February 13, 2020