London: A London-based Muslim man has sued the Virgin Atlantic airlines following his being ordered off a flight by police after “innocently” mentioning the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the media reported.
Mohammad Khan has alleged that Virgin Atlantic staff “racially and religiously profiled” him over a “harmless” conversation with a flight stewardess and another passenger, the Independent daily reported on Friday.
The 26-year-old said he was escorted off his flight from London to Atlanta, Georgia, following a “massive overreaction” by the cabin crew.
The Middlesex University graduate was travelling to the US for an interview for a business internship in Medellin, Colombia.
He said another passenger had complained about the length of airport security queues as the plane taxied on the runway.
“I totally innocently said ‘there’s been more security since 9/11’, then asked the stewardess ‘I bet your job has changed since 9/11’, but she looked stunned,” Khan said on Thursday.
The plane was then turned around and taxied back to the terminal where he was led off by police officers.
“I was racially and religiously profiled. It was a complete overreaction to completely innocent and harmless comments. I know this would not have happened if I was a white man in his 60s who had done the same thing.
“It totally ruined my trip and I felt humiliated. I was made to feel like a criminal,” the Independent quoted Khan as saying.
He was denied a refund on his 560 pounds ($720) ticket and was forced to spend 817 pounds ($1,060) on flights with another airline.