DALLAS (KTVT) — A North Texas Muslim said American Airlines canceled his flight Saturday because the flight crew didn’t feel comfortable with him and his Muslim friend on the plane.
Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh called the airline’s response to what he described as racial and religious profiling, as unacceptable.
“The flight attendant reported that he went to the restroom and flushed the toilet twice. The last time I know, flushing is allowed in this country,” said Alkhawaldeh.
The men were flying American Airlines to Dallas from Birmingham, Alabama.
On Thursday afternoon, American Airlines provided CBS 11 the following statement on the matter:
“American Airlines Flight 5886, operated by Mesa Airlines, from Birmingham to Dallas-Fort Worth on Sept. 14 was canceled due to concerns raised by a crew member and a passenger. American and all of its regional partners have an obligation to take safety and security concerns raised by crew members and passengers seriously. All customers on Flight 5886 were rebooked on the next flight to DFW. We’re committed to providing a positive experience to everyone who travels with us. Our team is working with Mesa to review this incident, and we have reached out to Mr. Alkhawaldeh and Mr. Abdallah to better understand their experience.”
Alkhawaldeh is a motivational speaker from Irving and said he’s flown more than a million miles with American as an Executive Platinum Member.
“I fly for a living. And I’m worried what my next flight will be,” he said.
He is calling on American Airlines to investigate the incident, require diversity training and issue an apology.
He said the airline has contacted him and is now speaking with his lawyers.
“To be treated like this, with disrespect, suspicion, profiled me, question me in public, get my bags to be checked again for absolutely no reason,” said Alkhawaldeh.