Southwest Airlines has been criticized for allegedly being racist to a Muslim woman. It has been reported that a flight attendant removed the woman from a flight without giving any explanation.
According to a report in news.com.au, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant did not feel comfortable with the woman named Hakima Abdulle, who boarded a flight at Chicago Airport. A spokesman from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that Ms Abdulle was wearing a headscarf while travelling alone on that connecting flight. She was removed from the plane by the flight attendant after wanting to switch her seat with another passenger.
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The Maryland Outreach Manager at CAIR, Zainab Chaudry, said that the airline has an unassigned seating policy but it was apparently not applicable to Ms Abdulle. When she wanted to switch to an aisle seat with a male passenger, who reportedly had no objection, a flight attendant told her that she could not do that. She did not explain the reason and asked her to get off the plane instead.
The police later asked the flight attendant to explain her behaviour and she just said that the passenger made her uncomfortable.
The airline later rebooked Ms Abdulle onto another flight.
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Only a few weeks ago, a similar incident occurred in a flight of United Airlines at the Chicago Airport when the crew racially profiled a Muslim family of five. According to a Chicago Tribune report, the family was removed from the plane after the parents asked for an extra safety seat strap for their youngest child.