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Mehdi Hasan, a British journalist who serves as a host for Al Jazeera English, took to Twitter on Monday to call out Southwest Airlines following an unpleasant interaction involving his wife. According to Hasan — the former political editor for HuffPost UK, which is also owned by Yahoo's parent company, Verizon Media — his family flew with the Texas-based airline from Houston to Washington, D.C., on Sunday. But when his wife, whom he notes was wearing a headscarf, made a request to swap seats so she’d be next to Hasan and their children, a flight attendant allegedly “escalated” the situation and threatened to boot her off the flight.
“Not a good look for your flight attendant ... to loudly tell a brown woman in a headscarf she'll be ‘escorted off the plane’ for making people feel ‘uncomfortable’ because she wanted to sit with her husband and kids,” Hasan, who also hosts the “Deconstructed” podcast for online publication The Intercept, tweeted.
He went on to accuse the Southwest employee of pursuing the matter against the wishes of other crew members and passengers, one of whom allegedly said that Hasan’s wife had been treated “like a venomous snake.”
The experience, he says, left “my wife in tears — because she wanted us all to sit together as a family while your flight attendant wanted to single her out and humiliate her.” Hasan also cited reports of other incidents involving Muslim passengers and vowed to not fly Southwest again.
In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, a spokeswoman for Southwest said, “We are working to collect information based on the recent customer claim made on social [media]. We also are in contact with the customer who originated the tweet. We take these situations very seriously and are dedicated to ensuring any issue raised is thoroughly investigated and reviewed in a timely manner.”
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