Discrimination on Flights

Discrimination on Flights


     While the average person does not particularly enjoy travelling via plane, the experience can be even more dreadful for non-white people. Racial profiling has always been an issue, especially after 9/11. Muslim people are often subject to random searches, discrimination, and unfair treatment. At the very least they are almost guaranteed to receive dirty glances.


Recently, an American Airlines flight was cancelled because the crew, “didn’t feel comfortable” flying with two Muslim men. The two men boarded the plane and waved at each other, which raised concerns among the crew. After getting off the plane, the men claim they were trained by law enforcement, interviewed by an FBI agent, and had their bags searched again by TSA. According to Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh, a Muslim motivational speaker from Irving, it was a blatant act of racial profiling. They have filed a complaint with the U.S Department of Transportation against Fort Worth-based America. Alkhawaldeh also said, “It was the most humiliating day of my life.”


American Airlines has a long list of instances like this. The NAACP issued a travel advisory in 2017 for American Airlines after a number of black passengers said they were discriminated against on flights. A black doctor and founder of a telemedicine service claimed that an American Airlines crew called her romper inappropriate, telling her to either cover up or be removed from the plane. Around the same time, a doctor claimed he was removed from an American flight because he looked Arab and Muslim and because he used his phone during takeoff. He is suing the airline in federal court.


It’s not just American Airline though, it’s everywhere. There have been multiple reports across different airlines of white people refusing to sit by people of color. In most of these instances, the crew did not interfere, and the victims had to find a white person willing to switch with them.


While the discrimination can appear to be a growing problem, it is important to also look at the cases of people coming together to protect the victims. For example, two women were recently kicked off a plane for complaining about “terrorist” Muslim passengers. Mario Van Poppel, who claimed to have been on the flight, tweeted, “a passenger on our Thomas Cook flight MT105 from Dalaman to Gatwick refuses to board the plane because three bearded men in white prayer robes are on board. All passengers are united in anger against this crazy racist women. It’s 2 a.m.” It’s 2019, can we please stop being so racist and judgmental? The Muslim on your plane isn’t a terrorist, they’re just trying to get somewhere. The black person sitting next to you isn’t violent. Just mind your own business and leave innocent people alone.