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22nd Dec 2016

Delta issue statement about the man allegedly kicked off a plane for speaking a different language

The airline has disputed the original claims.

Conor Heneghan

The original video, posted to Twitter, has been retweeted over 750,000 times.

Delta Air Lines have issued a statement in response to a video that went viral on Wednesday of a man claiming to have been kicked off one of their flights for speaking Arabic to his friend and to his mother over the phone.

The man, Adem Saleh, recorded the moment he was removed from the Delta flight, claiming it was because he spoke a different language and claiming that there were racist motives behind his removal.

In the video, Saleh can be seen receiving sympathy from some of his fellow passengers, while others seemed to be satisfied that he was being hauled off the flight.

Having issued a statement on Wednesday evening saying that they take all allegations of discrimination seriously and would launch an investigation into the incident, Delta issued an updated statement on Wednesday night claiming that the customers that were removed had “sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behaviour, including shouting”.

The statement also identified one of the passengers removed as “a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his travelling companion”.

“Upon landing the crew was debriefed and multiple passenger statements collected,” the Delta statement read.

“Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting. This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight.

“While one, according to media reports, is a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his traveling companion, what is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our passengers and employees. It is clear these individuals sought to violate that priority.”

Saleh posted the following message on Twitter on Wednesday night…

The original statement issued by Delta, meanwhile, read as follows: “We take all allegations of discrimination seriously and we are gathering all of the facts before jumping to any conclusion. Our culture requires treating everyone with respect. Furthermore, Delta people are trained to and frequently handle conflicts between passengers.

“Maintaining a safe, comfortable and orderly onboard environment is paramount for every flight and requires the cooperation of all of our customers in conjunction with adherence to directions from our crew members. This is a Delta policy and is required by U.S. regulations as well as others governing aviation worldwide.

“Two customers were removed from Delta Flight 1 departing London-Heathrow today after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort.

“We have spoken with the customers who were removed; they were rebooked on another flight. Plans are in place to immediately speak with our crew and other passengers when the flight lands this afternoon. We will provide an update once we have more information.”


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