Wednesday, 21 December 2016

YouTuber claims he was kicked off a Delta Flight for speaking Arabic

(Update: December 22nd 00:49am GMT - Since this posting Delta has since said that upon investigation they believe Adam Saleh and his friend were in fact shouting and being disruptive on the flight, according to "multiple passenger statements", which were collected when the flight arrived at its destination. Mr Saleh is yet to comment on this claim from Delta, and did tweet to say he had further video which showed what happened before they were escorted off the aircraft)

Delta Airlines have come under fire today, after a man posted a video on social media, claiming he was removed from a Delta flight for speaking one word of Arabic.

In the video posted at 11:20am (GMT), the man, Adam Saleh, begins filming as a flight attendant, and what appear to be airport ground staff begin to start escorting him off the flight.

It appears he is travelling with his friend from London to New York City.

Saleh has got over 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube and over 260,000 followers on Twitter.

The video shows other passengers on the plane, waving and saying bye as the pair are escorted to the exit of the aircraft, Saleh responds to them by calling them racists and repeating that he was being kicked off for speaking a word in a different language...

A fellow passenger who overhears what has been happening proceeds to rise from his seat and question the flight staff, saying it made him feel sad that the pair were being kicked off the flight for the reasons being claimed by Saleh.

Hours later Delta airlines began to respond on Twitter, as concerned frequent flyers of the airline, and people who had been disturbed by what was being claimed during the video, began to ask questions around why this had happened.

Delta says they take allegations of discrimination very seriously and would be "conducting a full review to understand what happened".

The airline also say they booked Adam Saleh and his friend on another flight, however according to Saleh on Twitter at 2:02pm (GMT) he had booked himself on a flight to New York with a different airline, after having to be checked by security for a second time.

Here's more of a sense of what Delta have been saying via Twitter today:

Delta has been essentially copying and pasting the same response to everyone who enquiries about it, and they won't answer any questions when they receive replies wanting further information.

The claims have caused an absolute storm on Twitter, with the initial video getting over 100,000 views since it was posted. Some have started posting parts of the Delta terms of conditions, one section of which states they don't refuse travel on the basis of "Race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ancestry".

Many have also cited the fact that in November, a supporter of Donald Trump started being offensive towards women on a flight calling them "Hillary bitches" and being generally offensive, yet Delta did absolutely nothing in this instance.

In terms of Delta's response to Saleh's claims, it hasn't exactly been swift, making only extremely vague statements about passengers "expressing discomfort" as the reason behind the two men being removed from the plane, which could mean absolutely anything.

If that discomfort was based solely on the fact these men spoke a few words in a foreign language, some serious questions need answering, because that is nothing more than blatant discrimination.

Delta need to act swiftly because with the power of social media, this could be massively damaging to the companies reputation, the hash tag #BoycottDelta has already started doing the rounds on social media and as the news spreads, I think it will only continue to gain speed.

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