BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Two Dallas-area Muslim community leaders say they were victims of racial and religious profiling during a flight from Alabama to Texas.
Isam Abdallah and Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh say they were kicked off an American Airlines plane and they want an investigation into what happened and who is accountable.
They say it happened on September 14.
Abdallah and Alkhawaldeh say they were first told the flight was canceled because of a maintenance issue.
They say they were both later questioned in the airport and told by law enforcement someone on the plane was not comfortable flying with them.
The airport was in Alabama, but WBRC has not confirmed where.
Abdallah and Alkhawaldeh spoke during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
American Airlines issued this statement to our FOX sister station KDFW:
“American Airlines Flight 5886, operated by Mesa Airlines, from Birmingham to Dallas-Fort Worth on Sept. 14 was canceled due to concerns raised by a crew member and a passenger. American and all of its regional partners have an obligation to take safety and security concerns raised by crew members and passengers seriously. All customers on Flight 5886 were rebooked on the next flight to DFW. We’re committed to providing a positive experience to everyone who travels with us. Our team is working with Mesa to review this incident, and we have reached out to Mr. Alkhawaldeh and Mr. Abdallah to better understand their experience.”
• The flight was operated and staffed by American's regional partner Mesa Airlines. Mesa operates flights for American and United.
• When security concerns are raised, law enforcement is contacted. The decision was made to deplane the aircraft and have it re-inspected.