Sikh-American actor Waris Ahluwalia flies home wearing his turban following controversy

New York: Ending his two-day standoff with Aeromexico, Waris Ahluwalia has returned to New York onboard Mexico's flag carrier after he was barred by it from boarding a flight from Mexico City as he refused to remove his turban.

Ahluwalia, 41, landed in New York on Wednesday, after being allowed to board a new Aeromexico flight without removing his turban for a check.

"I was asked to rub it with my hand, then present my hand or swabbing, which I did. That had been the past security practice, he was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

Actor Waris Ahluwalia. Reuters

Actor Waris Ahluwalia. Reuters

Before takeoff, he posted a photograph online of himself inside an aircraft with his arms around the shoulders of what appeared to be two Aeromexico pilots.

"He told us that the check was smooth," said Harsimran Kaur, the legal director for the Sikh Coalition, a civil-rights group that worked to resolve the impasse while Ahluwalia spent two days at the airport.

On Wednesday, Aeromexico apologised to Ahluwalia, saying it "recognises and is proud of the diversity of its passengers". "We apologise to Mr Waris Ahluwalia for the bad experience he went through with one of our security personnel," Aeromexico said in a statement.

The airline said it works to maintain strong security measures while respecting its passengers' cultures and beliefs.

Ahluwalia felt "great" about the apology, but said there's more work to be done.

On Monday, Ahluwalia was not allowed to board the Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to New York, triggering the standoff and condemnation from the fashion community.


Updated Date: Feb 11, 2016 16:08 PM

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