Published On: Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

Muslim man 'kicked off flight for 9/11 remark' now suing airline for racial profiling

Mohammad Khan, 26, from Cricklewood, north London, was flying to Atlanta for a business internship interview but was thrown off by police.

He said that while the plane was taxiing he spoke to an air stewardess and another passenger who he had not met before about the length of security checks in the airport.

Mr Khan told the Evening Standard: “I totally innocently said ‘there’s been more security since 9/11’, then asked the stewardess ‘I bet your job has changed since 9/11’, but she looked stunned.”

He said the plane turned around and headed back to the terminal where he was thrown off by police.

The police accepted that it was a misunderstanding and according to a letter of claim from his solicitors he was not formally interviewed.

Mr Khan said: “It was a complete overreaction to completely innocent and harmless comments.

“I know this would not have happened if I was a white man in his 60s who had done the same thing. It totally ruined my trip and I felt humiliated.

“I was made to feel like a criminal. I’ve suffered from anxiety since because of how the incident made me feel and had to see a doctor about it.”

Mr Khan claims that Virgin staff told him that he could take the next flight but that he would have to pay.

Virgin refused a refund for his £560 ticket and now Mr Khan is suing the company.

The flight was on January 8 last year and he has been battling compensation for 18 months.

He has demanded £5,000 plus legal costs and if his demands are not made he will sue for breach of contract and racial profiling.

A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said: “We can confirm that a passenger was escorted from flight VS103 on 8th Jan 2016 by Police after multiple customers and crew reported hearing highly inappropriate comments concerning security.

“This is not a decision we take lightly and although such security events are rare, we have a responsibility to report them to the relevant authorities to ensure the safety and security of our aircraft, customers and crew. Our team has been in regular contact with Mr Khan and his lawyers, and we have offered to refund his flights.”

Mr Khan also highlighted that the case of Liu Wei, a Chinese woman was verbally assaulted by another passenger on board a Virgin flight to Shanghai. Miss Liu also claimed that the cabin crew threatened to throw her off the flight.

In December, YouTube star Adam Sales claimed he was thrown off a Delta flight from Heathrow for speaking Arabic on a plane.

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