YouTuber offloaded from US flight for speaking Arabic
Adam Saleh, notable for filming his pranks on social media including cramping himself inside a suitcase during a flight from Melbourne to Sydney, claimed on Wednesday that he has become a “victim of discrimination.”
During a Delta Air Lines flight bound for New York via London, he said that he and his friend were expelled from their flight allegedly for speaking Arabic.
In a video clip posted on his social media sites, the Arab-American internet celebrity documented how a Delta flight attendant got rid of him and his companion, Salim Albaher. An American female passenger allegedly complained to the crew that she “felt uncomfortable” after hearing Saleh speaking to his mom on the phone in “a different language.”
“Delta airlines kicked us out for speaking Arabic to my mom on a plane,” Saleh said. “This is 2016. Delta airlines are kicking us out because we spoke a different language.”
Saleh and Albaher were screened by police at London’s Heathrow Airport and were later redirected to another flight. His Facebook clip has been viewed 24 million times and his post on Twitter retweeted 658,300 times as of this writing.
Dismissing claims from some social media users that the incident was one of Saleh’s “pranks,” Delta Air Lines pledged to investigate the incident. It said in a statement, “We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect.”
Earlier, Tiger Airways challenged the credibility of Saleh’s video of himself confined in a “checked-in” suitcase for the duration of the one-hour Melbourne-Sydney flight. The airline said it had a video proving that he had boarded the plane.
Several cases of Muslims escorted out of planes were reported earlier this year. Gianna Francesca Catolico
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