Muslim-American family kicked off plane for ‘safety reasons’ offers partial video, claims discrimination

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An Arab-American family has accused United Airlines of discrimination after a flight crew removed them from an airplane for “safety reasons.”

The airline said the family’s removal had nothing to do with discrimination.

Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley posted video to Facebook that showed her and her children being asked to leave the aircraft but the video cuts out at very important intervals.

Shame on you #unitedAirlines for profiling my family and me for no reason other than how we look and kicking us off the…

Posted by Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

In the first video a crew member asks the family to “step off the aircraft” and Shebley’s husband asks to be given a reason, but the video cuts out before a response is made.

On a second video the flight captain told the family it was his decision and was a “safety of flight issue.”

In a post before the family left the aircraft Shebley wrote on Facebook that “United is kicking me and my kids off of the plane! For no reason! Captain said for the safety of the flight! … Discrimination at its finest! I have everything recorded! We didn’t say or do anything!”

United is kicking me and my kids off of the plane! For no reason!!!!! Captin said for the safty of the flight!!!!…

Posted by Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley on Sunday, March 20, 2016

The family, of course, ran to the Council on American-Islamic Relations who is demanding an apology from United, along with disciplinary actions against the flight crew and sensitivity training for all of its staff.

“They felt singled-out and helpless,” CAIR representative Renner Larson told ABC News. “We are tired of more and more of these instances: of Muslims being taken off flights for flimsy reasons.”

In a statement on its website United said it did reach out to the family but that the crew acted appropriately.

“They were originally scheduled to fly on SkyWest 5811, operating as United Express from Chicago O’Hare to Washington, DC, but we rebooked them on a later flight because of concerns about their child’s safety seat, which did not comply with federal safety regulations,” it wrote.

“Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination,” it added.

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Carmine Sabia

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