A Black family plans to file a lawsuit against American Airlines after they were forced to get off a flight in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to The Grio.
Allan Ali told The Shade Room he and his partner Kamia Hoilett were asked to leave the plane Saturday afternoon (December 4) right before departure. The couple, who had their seven-week-old baby with them, were heading home to Philadelphia.
The incident began when a white male passenger allegedly told the couple they had to get up, according to Ali. When the pair got up to let the man into the row, Ali claims they were having trouble because a white female flight attendant was blocking the way.
When Ali asked her for some space, the flight attendant allegedly said, "Is this going to be a problem?" Things escalated when the same flight attendant told them to sit down and put on their seatbelts in a "passive-aggressive tone," Ali explained.
"Hoilett told the attendant she didn’t like the manner in which she was being spoken to, and the employee then 'stormed off' to report the incident to the captain, who instructed the flight attendants to remove the family from the flight," reporters wrote.
A viral Instagram video shows Hoilett repeatedly saying, "I didn't do anything," as another employee told them they had to leave. The family flew out of Charlotte later that night but felt like they were treated unfairly, reports say. Ali plans to file an official complaint, according to The Shade Room.
American Airlines emailed The Grio this statement Tuesday afternoon (December 7) regarding the incident:
"Our values demand that all customers are treated fairly and with respect, and we find the video posted by the family concerning. This matter has our full attention and we will take appropriate action as necessary."