New York, April 3: An Arab-American family has requested for a formal apology from United Airlines after being removed from a flight which claimed was "discrimination at its finest".
After a discussion with a flight attendant about how to secure a child booster seat on March 20, United employees said the family needed to leave the plane en route to Washington from Chicago because of "a safety of flight issue", according to a YouTube video posted by the mother, Eaman- Amy Saad Shebley.
"We are tired of Muslim-looking passengers being removed from flights for the flimsiest reasons, under a cryptic claim of 'security'," said Ahmed Rehab of the the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is representing the family.
United Airlines said it was all about the booster seat.
"They were originally scheduled to fly on SkyWest 5811, operating as United Express from Chicago O'Hare to Washington, D.C., but we rebooked them on a later flight because of concerns about their child's safety seat, which did not comply with federal safety regulations," United said in a formal statement.
"Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination."
In videos posted on Facebook, Shebley claimed that the air crew were "profiling my family and me for no reason other than how we look."
The two short videos show two air crew members talking to Shebley and her husband. In the first, a woman said that they were going to "ask that she step off the aircraft".
Shebley's husband enquires why, but the video cuts off before a response is heard.
In the second video, the captain of the plane is asked why they must leave and said "Because it's my decision".
"I felt singled-out, humiliated and helpless," the mother said.
"This family did nothing to earn the flight crew's scorn, other than trying to understand how they can best secure their baby," Rehab said.