Being a black traveler
I’m a luxury traveler, and whenever possible, I indulge myself with that experience. I can’t count the number of times I have queued for the first /business class travel lane and had fellow passengers step around me like I was invisible. I often also get the automatic direction to the right from a flight attendant when boarding a plane. It amuses me to go left, and then I get asked again for my boarding pass for a second verification as if somehow there was a mistake.
Entering a travel lounge is no different. I often see people flash their boarding passes and walk into the lounge. However, I am frequently asked not only for my boarding pass but for identification. When in the lounge, I see other passengers being asked if they would like a refill or a request if service is needed. Frequently I am overlooked and must request service.
Customs and immigration
Customs and immigration are no different. I realize that some questions are valid, but I sometimes feel a sense of invasiveness when asked, what brings you here? Where are you staying? How long are you staying? Although these might be valid questions, I’ve stood in line long enough to see that not everyone is questioned in the same way. My history of microaggressive behavior makes me question the questioner.
As a frequent traveler, I often stay at the same hotel chain for loyalty points. As a loyal customer and quite knowledgeable about hotel services, I am rarely recognized as a loyal customer. I know my wants are documented in the system, yet my room is often not as requested. Again, this may be just assuming the worst, but historical experience tells me I’m not off the mark.
This article is by no means meant to be a complaint. It is simply a sharing of my lived experiences. Have you noticed or experienced similar experiences? If you haven’t, I invite you to take notice and claim your validity of space. It’s incredible that even now, in 2021, the spaces I enter question my presence simply because of my hue.