A Muslim influencer and activist claims to have been kicked off an American Airlines flight after a man in first class said he was “uncomfortable” with her being on board.
Amani al-Khatahtbeh posted her story to Twitter on 15 November and said she had the “craziest experience in TSA” during flight 2029 at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.
Al-Khatahtbeh said an “entitled white man” who was behind her at airport security pushed in front of her in line because as she was still taking off her shoes.
She said when she asked him to wait like everyone else he “started going off about how he’s ‘pre-check’ and ‘first-class'”.
The man then allegedly shoved his things in front of al-Khatahtbeh’s and ran through ‘the machine’.
“TSA did NOTHING!” she tweeted.
“Not only did they do nothing, a TSA officer had the audacity to tell ME to ‘cut it out’.
“Y’all know if I, a VEILED MUSLIM WOMAN, had the audacity to throw a temper tantrum and run through TSA security, I would have gotten BODIED.
“I would have been detained, missed my flight, possibly gotten charged, etc.”
According to her string of tweets, the man complained about al-Khatahtbeh once she was on board causing American Airlines to remove her from the flight.
“This is the @AmericanAir manager coming on board to tell me that they’re removing me from my flight because “there is a passenger on board who doesn’t feel comfortable” with me,” she said.
This is the @AmericanAir manager coming onboard to tell me that they're removing me from my flight because "there is a passenger onboard who doesn't feel comfortable" with me. pic.twitter.com/pwBS5NkvAn
— AMANI (@AMANI2020) November 15, 2020
A spokesperson for American Airlines told Travel Weekly that initial witness reports revealed the “verbal altercation” between the man and al-Khatahtbeh continued through the terminal and on the plane, where al-Khatahtbeh confronted the passenger and began filming him.
“We are actively investigating an incident that took place between two passengers before and during boarding of flight 2029 at Newark Liberty International Airport. We are concerned by these allegations and our team is actively working to learn more about what occurred,” the spokesperson said.
“We have reached out to both passengers, and are in the process of interviewing crew members, other passengers on board, as well as witnesses from the TSA checkpoint. In addition, we are working with local law enforcement and have requested video footage from Terminal A and security.
“We take this issue seriously and our team is working as fast as possible to understand what occurred. We have reached out to CAIR NJ to brief them on our investigation.”