Man Kicked Off Flight for Discussing Long Lines at Security

Last year an economist was removed from an American Airlines flight for use of weapons of math instruction. The University of Pennsylvania professor was scribbling math equations on a piece of paper. His seat opponent thought it looked Arabic.

The American Airlines crew naturally suspected the man — an Italian named Guido — of being a member of the al-Gebra movement. Algebra has Arabic roots, and of course math is used to make bombs.

Looking ‘Arabic and scary’ will get you kicked off a flight (even if your name is Mark French). Questioning a flight attendant while looking Arabic will get you kicked off, too. Especially if you ask why they won’t allow you to change seats. Terrorists want to change seats, because strategic seat choice is important for terrorism (seatguru is an Al-Qaeda plot).

Lots of Empty Seats on this Southwest Airlines Boeing 737

Now a Muslim man is threatening a lawsuit against Virgin Atlantic saying he was kicked off a flight from London to Atlanta for discussing long lines at airport security. Virgin even refused to refund his ticket price.

Khan said he had been talking to an air stewardess and another passenger while the plane was taxiing on the runway, when the other passenger apparently complained about how long airport security checks take.

‘I totally innocently said “there’s been more security since 9/11”, and then asked the stewardess “I bet your job has changed since 9/11”, but she looked stunned,’

Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo

The man’s lawyer reports he wasn’t even questioned by law enforcement, the ejection was so silly. But he was stuck buying walkup tickets on another airline.

Virgin Atlantic defends the decision saying, “multiple customers and crew reported hearing highly inappropriate comments concerning security.”

They say as well that they’ve now offered a refund, but since they haven’t given it perhaps they’re asking for a waiver of claims in exchange for returning money paid for services they refused to provide.

However what the passenger wants is £5000 plus legal expenses, or else his lawyers say they’ll file suit.

By the way here’s the top 10 ways to tell the difference between an economist and a terrorist on a plane.

So is it:

  • A bad idea to mention 9/11 on a plane if you’re Muslim?
  • A bad idea to talk about airport security on a plane, period?
  • That we’ve taken our fears too far?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I wonder what will happened if its not MH that was lost, but one of US3. Perhaps non christian/jewish caucasian will be suspected as terrorist upon sight…

  2. It is your blog so up to you…but I tired of person kicked off plane…. or person suing airline stories.

    You are the boss but assume you want feedback…

  3. The whole thing is all getting a bit silly…. honestly….. flight attendants with too much power for the lack of brains or commonsense they mostly don’t have….. really… talking about long lines and they kick the poor bastard off the plane….. I hope he sues their English arses for a lot more than £5000 quid. Virgin Atlantic, oh that explains it, flight attendants look good ( well nearly all of them ) but not much going on up top…..

  4. FAs have way too much power to just throw people off planes. That being said why would a muslim man ever think its a good idea to mention 9/11 & security while sitting on a plane in a country that has been attacked by extremists? Also, I notice we only really have his side of the story when it comes to what was said. Seems like there may be more to the story.

  5. No reports that his religion had anything at all to do with it. But he was removed “after multiple customers and crew reported hearing highly inappropriate comments concerning security”. Just looking for a payday. And constant misleading stories like those on this blog just perpetuate the problem.

  6. Gee, do you think that Virgin might want a release signed before paying off a guy who is threatening to sue them. Thought leadership.

  7. I’m not tired of stories like this. I want you to keep posting these until this kind of nonsense stops. You have an accurate headline too, so if people don’t like the headline, they don’t have to click through to read the story.

  8. I thought the pendulum had swung back since Dr. Dao but it appears that many FAs still haven’t gotten the message. I guess a few more lawsuits will be needed until this nonsense stops.

  9. Who cares if he is Muslim or not!?! This implies an institutional racism which must be illegal. Race should have nothing to do with it.

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