A Sikh man and his friends from Brooklyn claim a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight kicked them off because they looked “too Muslim.”
She said “their appearance made the captain uneasy.”
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) January 18, 2016
The men have responded with a $9 million federal lawsuit. The petition states American Airlines “disgracefully engaged in discrimination’ after staff removed the friends from flight 44718 from Toronto to New York last month ‘based upon their perceived race, color, ethnicity.”
Shan Anand and Faimul Alam forked over $75 to change their flight to the one booked by their friends, who only want to be known by initials, W.H. and M.K. Those two men paid $70 to upgrade to business class.
Anand and Alam switched seats with two passengers to sit next to each other. But then a flight attendant asked W.H. to leave the plane.
“I thought it was an evacuation or something, so I didn’t think nothing of it, but then she told me to take my bags, and when I went back into the plane I saw I was the only one standing,” W.H., a fashion designer, recounted to The New York Daily News.
She then asked M.K. to also leave. Anan and Alam said the people around them started to shout racist comments while others clutched their children “as if something was going to happen.”
The four men left the plane.
An agent told them “they could not board because the crew members, and specifically the captain, felt uneasy and uncomfortable with their presence on the flight and as such, refused to fly unless they were removed from the flight.”