‘Our clients not only seek justice for themselves, but also for an entire community tired of being scapegoated to justify discrimination in air travel,’ says attorney
Two men have filed a federal discrimination suit against Alaska Airlines, alleging that staff removed them for a flight for “talking and texting in Arabic”.
The complainants, who were seated in the first class cabin, say they were talking and texting in Arabic when another passenger alerted cabin crew to Dirar’s text messages. They say they were then removed from the flight with Alaska staff citing a “ticket issue”.
They say they were taken to an Alaska Airlines manager who was able to translate their text messages, but even then they were surrounded by police officers inside the airport.
I søksmålet, the airline is accused of “humiliating Plaintiffs before their fellow passengers by unnecessarily deplaning said passengers and allowing them to observe Plaintiffs surrounded by uniformed law enforcement personnel.”
They go on to say that they were then booked onto separate, alternative flights to San Francisco, but one of the men was downgraded due to availability, and both arrived hours later than intended.
The two men are seeking damages from the airline.
Their attorney, Luis Segura, fortalteCNNin a statement that the airline “could have acted responsibly by calming tensions, apologizing to our clients for their mistreatment, and allowing our clients to remain in their rightful seats.
"I stedet, Alaska Airlines chose to pile onto the bigotry by using these two Black, Muslim American passengers as props in an admittedly unjustified, unnecessary, and self-serving display of security theater.
“By bringing this lawsuit, our clients not only seek justice for themselves, but also for an entire community tired of being scapegoated to justify discrimination in air travel.”
The men say they waited two years after the incident to file a lawsuit because Alaska Airline’s counsel stated that they would be “conducting an internal investigation into the matter” but never contacted them.
An Alaska Airlines spokesperson said: ““Alaska Airlines strictly prohibits discrimination. We take such complaints very seriously.
“Our greatest responsibility is to ensure that our flight operations are safe every day, and that includes complying with federal regulations on investigating any passenger safety reports.
“Since this case remains pending litigation, we’re unable to share any further comment or details at this time.”