Muslim Girl Says Southwest Airways Denied Exit Row Seat Due to Hijab

  • A Muslim girl filed a criticism with the Division of Transportation in opposition to Southwest Airways. 
  • Fatima Altakrouri mentioned the airline denied her an exit row seat due to her hijab.
  • Altakrouri informed USA Right this moment she heard flight attendants saying, “if we sat her there, she’d convey down the airplane in an emergency.” 
  • Go to Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

A Muslim girl from Texas mentioned Southwest Airways discriminated in opposition to her for carrying a hijab. 

Fatima Altakrouri informed NBC DFW she was denied the possibility to sit down in an emergency exit row whereas her sister, who wasn’t carrying a veil, was not. 

The 2 have been flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Dallas, Texas, on Might 22. Altakrouri mentioned she and her sister, Muna Kowni, noticed the emergency exit row had the final two seats close to one another on the airplane. 

Altakrouri mentioned she requested a flight attendant whether or not she may sit there and was informed she could not. She additionally overheard a flight attendant say she “could not communicate English and would convey the entire airplane down in an emergency,” in response to a launch on Altakrouri’s criticism from the Dallas-Fort-Value chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“I informed her twice, ‘She speaks English,” Kowni informed USA Right this moment. “She’s spoken English in entrance of her.”

Altakrouri informed a number of shops she has filed a criticism with the Division of Transportation.

Southwest Airways didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark. Spokesperson Brandy King informed USA Right this moment that the corporate’s inside stories “don’t help claims made by the passenger relating to feedback or selections being made based mostly upon look.”

“The protection of our passengers is paramount, and people seated in an exit row are required to verbally point out that they’ll carry out sure duties in flight,” King’s assertion continued. “Our Crew is chargeable for getting that affirmation from a passenger earlier than seating them in an overwing exit row and was unable to realize acknowledgment from the passenger throughout boarding. Due to this fact, as a courtesy, the Crew supplied her an alternate seat.”

Southwest has been in sizzling water for alleged discriminatory habits up to now. In October of final yr, for instance, Southwest apologized to a 22-year-old girl who was barred from boarding a flight to Chicago for carrying a “lewd, obscene, and offensive” prime.

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