Spirit Airlines is facing discrimination allegations by seven black passengers kicked off Flight 686. The passengers claim their white flight attendant called the police to remove them simply because of the color of their skin.
The seven black passengers were removed from the Spirit Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Monday night. The plane was preparing to fly to Dallas when a verbal altercation erupted on board, the Daily Mail reports. The African-American passengers allege they are victims of racial discrimination and were escorted off the plane by police officers without cause.
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Some of the passengers on the plane that witnessed the removal of three black couples and an individual black man said that the male white flight attendant accused one person in the group of making a threat. Alexandria Wright, one of the seven African-American passengers kicked off Flight 686 recorded a portion of the incident on her cell phone.
“[The flight attendant] was just really nasty towards him and was like, ‘No, you guys need to switch,’ ” Alexandria Wright said via Skype, ABC News reports.. “[The male passenger] politely got up and switched seats, and the flight attendant continued to make really mean, nasty remarks towards the passenger… and the guy was like ‘No, I’m not leaving, I don’t have a reason to get off this flight. I didn’t do anything wrong.’ ”
The video shows a man being removed from the Spirit Airlines plane and telling the police officers that the white flight attendant was being rude.
During a CBS Los Angeles interview, Ty Walker, one of the seven black passengers and the man shown in the cellphone video, said the attendant told him that he had to switch seats. Walker claims he was prepared to do so when the attendant made some type of remark to him.
“I’m not talking to you, don’t talk to me,” Walker said he told the white flight attendant. “A man was sitting in the wrong seat so he and the woman were supposed to switch seats, but they decided that they wanted to sit together.”
Walker also told reporters that after the verbal altercation, the flight attendant called the police and had the officers escort Ty Walker off the flight. Six other black passengers spoke up for Walker, and were ultimately kicked off the plane, as well.
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“I’m really humiliated just for the simple fact that you hear about this type of stuff happening in America, discrimination issues and stuff like that, but to actually experience it first-hand,” Wright said. “It was more than just us having the conversation. Why is that six black people got kicked off the plane?”
Spirit Airlines stated in a press release stating that the seven black passengers were being disruptive and causing problems for other passengers. The airline also stated that the passengers were asked to stop the “unruly” behavior and to calm down. When the behavior did not stop, the police were called, the statement also maintains.
“Flight crew asked them to stop. When they did not, law enforcement was called and they were removed from the flight,” the airline statement added.
The Spirit Airlines flight took off from LAX at 8 p.m. without the seven black passengers on the plane. Passengers from Flight 686 spoke with reporters at the Dallas airport. Some of the passengers agreed that the ejected passengers were being disruptive on the plane. The name of the white flight attendant has not been released.
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