Airline Asks Woman to Take Pregnancy Test Before Boarding Flight to Saipan
Never mind the fact that she had already marked that she was not pregnant on the check-in questionnaire she was given
Talk about crossing a line.
A Japanese citizen was reportedly asked to take a pregnancy test to prove she was not pregnant before boarding a Hong Kong Express Airways flight to Saipan, a U.S. island part of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific.
Yeah— that’s not cool.
Midori Nishida was reportedly flying from Hong Kong to Saipan to visit her parents.
Once the 25-year-old woman got to the airport for her flight, she says the airline asked her to take a “fit-to-fly” assessment, which includes a pregnancy test — despite the fact that Nishida had already marked that she was not pregnant on the check-in questionnaire she was given.
Nishida complied and the test was negative, but called the experience “humiliating and frustrating.”
A representative for Hong Kong Express Airways apologized for the incident in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, noting that the policy was created in response to immigration concerns.
“In response to concerns raised by authorities in Saipan, we took actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019 to help ensure U.S. immigration laws were not being undermined,” the airline said.
“We would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who has been affected by this.”
The test is part of Hong Kong Express Airways’ efforts to quell birth tourism, which has continued to rise in recent years, sparking immigration concerns in Saipan.
Though pregnant women are not banned from entering the U.S. territory, immigration officials can deny tourists entry if they appear to be visiting the island with the intent of giving birth.