An American-Jordanian Muslim woman has alleged she was removed from a flight after a male passenger expressed his discomfort at her being on the flight.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was meant to be on a flight from Newark, New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina on November 14.
The US-based activist, who is the founder of Muslim Girl – a website dedicated to sharing news, culture and history surrounding Muslims – opened up about the ordeal on her Twitter page and her website.
Al-Khatahtbeh explained their first encounter was at the security check in the airport where a white male became impatient and frustrated with her as she had to remove her shoes – a normal requirement during a security check.
I had the craziest experience in TSA this morning.
An entitled white man behind me insisted on cutting me in line because I was “still taking my shoes off.”
When I said he could wait like everyone else, he started going off about how he’s “pre check” and “first class” 1/3
— AMANI (@AMANI2020) November 14, 2020
“An entitled white man behind me insisted on cutting me in line because I was ‘still taking my shoes off,’” she said on Twitter.
“When I said he could wait like everyone else, he started going off about how he’s ‘pre check’ and ‘first class’”.
Once Al-Khatahtbeh boarded the flight and she took her seat, a member of airport security approached her – an encounter which was filmed by the website founder – to explain that she was going to be removed from the flight as there was a passenger who was uncomfortable with her.
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
“This is the American Airlines 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,” Al-Khatahtbeh tweeted along with the video.
Following this Al-Khatahtbeh was reportedly escorted off the flight by police officers and was briefly taken into custody, but has now been released.
In a statement issued by American Airlines, they stated there was “verbal altercation” which took place between Al-Khatahtbeh and the male passenger.
“Initial witness accounts indicate the conflict began during TSA screening,” the statement said. “Both PreCheck and non-PreCheck screening were consolidated into one open lane.
“Our understanding is that Ms Al-Khatahtbeh believed the other passenger, who is enrolled in PreCheck, was getting favourable treatment because he was allowed to proceed through security while she was removing her shoes.
“This led to a verbal altercation that continued through the terminal and on the plane, where Ms Al-Khatahtbeh confronted the passenger and began filming him before taking her seat.”