She was removed from an American Airlines flight last November after a passenger said he didn't "feel comfortable" with her being on the plane.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, a Muslim activist and former congressional candidate, was removed from an American Airlines flight last November after a white male passenger said he didn't "feel comfortable" with her being on the plane. The incident went viral across social media at the time after she documented the entire ordeal in a series of tweets and a Facebook Live recorded from the plane. "I had the craziest experience in TSA this morning," Amani explained in the tweets. "An entitled white man behind me insisted on cutting me in line because I was 'still taking my shoes off.' When I said he could wait like everyone else, he started going off about how he's 'pre-check' and 'first-class.'"
The 29-year-old added in a follow-up tweet that the man "then proceeded to not only shove his things before [hers]," but also ran through the machine while the TSA allegedly did nothing. "Not only did they not do anything, but a TSA officer also had the audacity to tell ME to 'cut it out.' Y'all know if I, a VEILED MUSLIM WOMAN, had the audacity to throw a temper tantrum and run through TSA security, I would have gotten BODIED. I would have been detained, missed my flight, possibly gotten charged, etc.," she pointed out.
Amani, who is the founder of the Muslim Girl website and the first Muslim woman to run for Congress in New Jersey, later tweeted that American Airlines staff then attempted to get her off the flight after the unidentified man complained about her. "This is the American Air manager coming on board to tell me that they're removing me from my flight because 'there is a passenger on board who doesn't feel comfortable' with me," she wrote, tweeting a video of the manager telling her the same. When she refused to leave the plane and asked that the other passenger be removed instead, the airlines ended up deboarding every passenger from the flight.
This is the @AmericanAir manager coming onboard to tell me that they're removing me from my flight because "there is a passenger onboard who doesn't feel comfortable" with me. pic.twitter.com/pwBS5NkvAn— AMANI (@xoamani) November 15, 2020
"A man in first-class complained about me after he harassed me in TSA, and said that I, the Muslim woman, made him feel uncomfortable," Amani said in a Facebook Live. "So American Airlines, rather than de-boarding that one singular man, attempted to de-board this entire flight to save one person in first class. They first tried to remove the Muslim woman – rather than take both of us out they just wanted to take me out, take his word for it. And when I refused they de-boarded the entire plane." According to CBS News, Amani was then arrested by the Port Authority and charged for trespass and delay of transportation. She was released shortly after.
"Our understanding is that Ms. Al-Khatahtbeh believed the other passenger, who is enrolled in PreCheck, was getting favorable treatment because he was allowed to proceed through security while she was removing her shoes," said Andrew Trull, an American Airlines spokesperson, told New Jersey Herald. He added that the verbal altercation between the two continued through the terminal and onto the plane where Amani confronted the other passenger. "We take this issue seriously and our team is working as fast as possible to understand what occurred," said Trull.
Nine months after this incident, Amani announced in a recent TikTok that her charges were finally dismissed. "American Airlines privately wrote a letter to the court basically admitting they fu**ed up and to drop the charges," she wrote in the video. Amani also tweeted photographs of the letter which stated: "Following the incident, in a gesture of goodwill, American Airlines issued Ms. Al-Khatahtbeh a partial refund of the price of her tickets and also offered to re-accommodate her in business class. American Airlines does not wish to prosecute this matter any further and wishes to put this unfortunate incident behind us so Ms. Al-Khatahtbeh can move on from it without any trouble or inconvenience. We hope this puts this matter to rest."
As of yesterday, the charges in my American Airlines arrest after a first-class passenger complained that I made him “feel uncomfortable” — have been HEREBY DISMISSED.— AMANI (@xoamani) July 10, 2021
9 months later. To this day, that passenger has faced 0 consequences.
Now I’m suing. pic.twitter.com/kJTItgxDsg
However, American Airlines won't be able to "put this matter to rest" just yet as Amani revealed in the TikTok video that she will now be taking legal action against the company.