Four men were thrown off a flight because their Muslim appearance made crew feel “uneasy”, it is alleged.
The four fliers from Brooklyn were travelling with two other friends on a flight between Toronto and New York City when they claim they were asked to leave the plane operated by Republic Airways, a regional partner of American Airlines.
The men claim the airline “disgracefully engaged in discrimination” and that they were ejected from the flight “based upon their perceived race, colour, ethnicity”.
Two of the men, identified only by their initials WH and MK, had paid $70 to upgrade to first class, while their friends, Shan Anand and Faimul Alam, spent $75 to switch flights so they could travel together. On board, Mr Anand and Mr Alam switched seats so they could sit next to each other.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, WH, a fashion designer, claimed a flight attendant asked him to get off the plane.
WH reportedly said: “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.”
Passengers surrounding Mr Alam and Mr Anand were reportedly making racist comments and “clutching their children”.