Muslim women removed from plane after 'staring' at flight attendant
Published 09/03/2016 | 14:00
Two Muslim women were escorted off a plane after a member of the cabin crew “didn’t like the way [they] were staring back at her”.
A video has emerged of the two being told by police office to leave the JetBlue plane before its flight from Boston to Los Angeles. The plane then took off without the pair.
Beneath the footage uploaded to Youtube, which has since been made private, Mark Frauenfelder, a journalist and former editor of Wired magazine, said his friend Sharon Kessler was on the flight when she “overheard a flight attendant tell a co-worker that she didn’t like the way two Muslim women were staring back at her”.
He said Ms Kessler had written a Facebook post about the incident and that member of cabin crew “did not seem rattled or scared – just smug”.
It is understood the aircraft was taxiing when it stopped so that the police could remove the women.
Ms Kessler described it as a “terrible moment” and that the flight attendant’s behaviour “felt like overkill”.
JetBlue has not responded to a Telegraph Travel request for comment, however, the American low-cost airline told the Mail that one of the women was filming the safety briefing.
In a statement, the airline added: “More than 35 million customers from many cultures and backgrounds travel on JetBlue without incident each year.
"Our crewmembers' first priority is the safe and secure operation of our flights, and as a security precaution, are asked to be aware of anyone who may be filming or taking photographs of inflight procedures or the flight deck area.
"If a crewmember believes a customer may be filming safety procedures, the crewmember may report it for further review.
"In this instance, our crewmembers acted in accordance with security procedures. We appreciate our customers’ patience and cooperation, and apologize for the inconvenience."
Last month, a Muslim man due to fly from Manchester to Morocco was told by staff to leave the plane before being questioned by police. He told the Derby Telegraph the experience was "humiliating".
Last week, a British man was removed from a plane in Luton by armed police after a fellow passenger read a message on his mobile phone about “prayer” and reported him as a security threat.
In December last year, the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said America should ban Muslims from entering the country.