Airline Apologizes to Muslims Kicked Off Flight

Family blame racial profiling; Muslim group plans to file complaint
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2009 6:55 AM CST

(Newser) – A Muslim American family booted from a New Year's Day flight for allegedly making suspicious remarks has received an apology from AirTran, the Washington Post reports. The family was removed and interrogated after a pair of teenage girls heard two of them discussing which seats on an aircraft were safest and raised the alarm. AirTran apologized for the misunderstanding but said the steps taken were necessary.

The family blames racial profiling for the incident and a Muslim group plans to file a discrimination complaint. "We are Muslim-Americans and we fly a lot. So we understand there is a lot of scrutiny on us in the first place," one family member said. "But, we consider ourselves to be model citizens. It was appalling to know that this type of stuff can happen to you." AirTran—which refused to rebook the family members afterward—has now offered them refunds and a free flight home.