A man was kicked off an Alaska Airlines flight from Dallas to Seattle on Wednesday because, the man says, “a passenger complained he looked ‘Arabic and scary'” as a result of his beard.
Oh, the man’s name is Mark French.
‘We want to assure you that ethnicity did not play a part in this situation.
‘The passenger was deemed unfit to fly at that time but was rebooked for a flight today to his destination.
Since the reference is to Wednesday evening I assume this was flight AS667, the 7:45pm departure that is Alaska’s last of the day.
According to Alaska Airlines he was ‘unfit to fly’ but he was fine to take a different flight. And we should trust them, it’s really all about something else entirely, but they won’t say what.
There is more to the story, but per our company policy we do not share details about our passengers.
Alaska needs to do better than that. If there were concerns about the passenger’s behavior, say so, and what those concerns were. Because I think we’ve had just about enough of people kicked off planes for doing math that ignorant seatmates think ‘looks like Arabic’ (we do use Arabic numerals, and ‘math is used to make bombs’). And we’ve had enough of Muslims kicked off flights for changing seats or for speaking Arabic.
As much of the coverage of this incident notes, the Alaska Airlines eskimo in their aircraft livery has a beard.
Regardless of what happened to this man when he tried to fly, it’s time we stop living in fear.