Spirit Airlines removed seven black passengers from a plane at LAX on Monday. The travelers are now claiming their removal by police was based upon racial discrimination. A male white flight attendant summoned law enforcement officers after a problem with seat-switching.
Flight 868 from Spirit Airlines was boarding for a trip to Dallas when the problem arose, according to a report by ABC News. According to the Daily Mail, a black male passenger and the white flight attendant had a verbal altercation after the man was asked to switch seats with another passenger. The man and his girlfriend were kicked off the flight after the attendant called for police assistance.
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The first male black passenger was removed when the white flight attendant asked him to switch seats, according to some Spirit Airlines witnesses. Exactly what caused the seat issue remains unclear. Some say the flight was double booked and others contend that the man was not in his assigned seat. The name of the flight attendant has not been released.
After the man and his girlfriend were escorted off the plane by the police, the other five black passengers reportedly questioned the removal and were ultimately kicked off the plane as well.
Alexandria Wright, one of the black passengers kicked off the Spirit Airlines flight, recorded a portion of the incident on her cell phone. The Flight 868 video appears to show a black man being escorted off the plane and telling the police officers that the flight attendant was being rude.
Ty Walker has been identified as the first passenger booted off the plane, and he is the man shown in the video. During an interview with CBS Los Angeles, Walker said the white flight attendant told him that he had to switch seats. He said that he was prepared to do as asked when the white flight attendant made some type of remark to him.
“I’m not talking to you, don’t talk to me,” Ty Walker said he replied in response to the remark.
“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. The flight attendant overheard the conversation. He came over and was just kind of making nasty remarks, making them switch. He was just really nasty towards him and told him, ‘No, you guys have to switch,'” one of the ejected passengers reportedly stated.
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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,” Alexandria Wright added. “It was more than just us having the conversation. Why is it that six black people got kicked off the plane?”
Spirit Airlines issued a press release to address the now-viral story of seven black passengers being kicked off Flight 868. The statement maintains that the passengers were “unruly” and had been asked to calm down and stop the disruptive behavior. When the passengers chose not to comply, the police were called to escort the individuals off the plane, the statement also noted.
“Flight crew asked them to stop. When they did not, law enforcement was called and they were removed from the flight,” the press release said.
Upon landing in Dallas via a different flight, some of the members of the group of seven black passengers who were kicked off the Spirit Airlines plane talked to reporters. Flight 868 landed in Texas as scheduled around 8 p.m. without further incident.
Do you think that Spirit Airlines discriminated against the black passengers?
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