Muslim Demands Seat Change, Airline Threatens To ‘Escort’ Her Off Plane

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When a Muslim woman boarded a flight, she realized that her seat wasn’t with the rest of her family members. However, when she insisted on changing seats at takeoff, the flight attendant allegedly told her to sit down or else she’d be “escorted off” the flight.

A husband has claimed that his Muslim wife suffered discrimination when she boarded a Southwest Airlines flight. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

The alleged incident took place when a Muslim woman boarded a flight headed to Washington, D.C., with her family members. According to Medhi Hasan, a British-Muslim journalist based in the U.S., it was when his wife attempted to move to a different seat that things got heated.

Thousands of passengers bustle through Southwest Airlines’ Houston terminals on any given day. Of course, every frequent flier knows that delays, frustrations, annoyances are part and parcel of boarding a plane. Unfortunately, the Muslim woman’s experience was apparently so distressing that her family has sworn off doing business with the airline for good.

Medhi Hasan Muslim Woman Demands Seat Change Airline Threatens To Escort Her Off Plane
Journalist Medhi Hasan claims that his wife was disallowed to change seats because she is a “brown woman.” (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Hasan alleges that his wife “politely” asked a passenger to give up his seat so that she could sit with her family, which the Al-Jazeera reporter says the man was willing to do. However, he claims that a Southwest Airlines flight attendant rushed over and interrupted the exchange, The Sun reports.

Hasan took to Twitter to name and shame the airline, rallying his followers to accuse the airline of discrimination, which has since spurred a boycott among his supporters. In a series of posts over the course of six days, Hasan accused the airline of disallowing his wife to change seats because she is a “brown woman.”

“Hey @SouthwestAir: not a good look for your flight attendant on SW5539 to DC last night to loudly tell a brown woman in a headscarf she’ll be ‘escorted off the plane’ for making people feel ‘uncomfortable’ – because she wanted to sit with her husband & kids!” Hasan tweeted.

Medhi Hasan Muslim Woman Demands Seat Change Airline Threatens To Escort Her Off Plane
Medhi Hasan accused the airline of racism and Islamophobia. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Hasan claims that the only person who took issue with his wife switching seats was the flight attendant, suggesting that racism plaid a part in the disruption. He tweeted that even a member of the airline’s ground staff believed it was the flight attendant who was provoking a dispute.

“The flight attendant called ground staff onto the plane, complained about the Muslim woman – my wife! – to them, & escalated rather than de-escalated the situation – simply because my wife politely asked a guy if he’d give up his seat for our family (which he was fine with!),” he wrote.

Hasan went on to claim that several passengers sided with his wife, offering their apologies to the family for the alleged discrimination. He wrote that a traveler “told my wife after we landed in DC last night” that the employee had treated her “like a venomous snake.”

“FYI: @SouthwestAir flight staff seem to have form when it comes to mistreating brown/Muslim passengers. Hadn’t flown with them for years and, at this point, don’t plan to do so again anytime in the near future. Not worth it,” he concluded.

Medhi Hasan Muslim Woman Demands Seat Change Airline Threatens To Escort Her Off Plane
Medhi Hasan claims that the flight attendant told his wife she’d be “escorted off” the plane for causing a disruption. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

After the tweets gained massive attention, Southwest Airlines responded not only with a personal apology but with a detailed explanation of the situation. According to the airline, the matter was resolved and the woman was able to sit with her family as soon as the matter was brought to a supervisor’s attention.

“The Family was able to sit together and the flight arrived safely in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night. We remain in communication with the Customer who sent the tweet and are working to address his concerns directly,” a spokesperson said.

Despite the airline reaching out to the family, Hasan continued to complain that the company hasn’t issued a “public apology” and hasn’t offered his family compensation for their trouble. He insists that the airline should also discipline the staff members involved.

Medhi Hasan Muslim Woman Demands Seat Change Airline Threatens To Escort Her Off Plane
Although none of his claims were verified, Medhi Hasan has demanded a public apology, compensation, and that Southwest Airlines discipline its employees. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Although none of his claims concerning the alleged events or support from fellow passengers has been verified, the media and Hasan’s followers have taken his accusations as fact.

Hasan and his supporters have already made up their minds that they will abstain from flying Southwest Airlines, at least until the situation is handled up to his standards. Still, the truth remains somewhere in between Hasan’s account and that of the flight attendant who hasn’t been consulted on the issue.