Two Muslim men have filed a complaint with the US Department of Transportation against American Airlines, claiming that their flight was canceled after being racially profiled by the crew.
"It was truly the most horrible, humiliating day of my life," one of the men said at a news conference Thursday, Fox 4.
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On Saturday, Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh and Issam Abdallah separately traveled from Birmingham, Ala., To their Dallas home aboard a flight operated by Mesa Airlines, a regional carrier operating as American Eagle. After boarding, the men ̵
The plane was then delayed for a maintenance problem when Abdallah was using the toilet, but when he came out, he claimed that an air hostess was standing right outside the door "as if she were listening."
llert, and all passengers were scheduled. However, Alkhawaldeh and Abdallah claim they were followed by security throughout the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport while waiting for another flight.
"The airline, they called the police at the airport, and they said [they] was not comfortable flying with these men," Abdallah, a local leader of the Dallas Muslim community, said during a press conference Thursday at Dallas-Fort Worth. chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, adding that he was also told he was being investigated because he "flushed twice" in the toilet.
The two men's bags were also searched by TSA agents in Birmingham.  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFE NEWSLETTER
When reached for comment, American Airlines confirmed that it was both a crew member and a passenger who had raised concerns.
"American Airlines Flight 5886, operated by Mesa Airlines, from Birmingham to Dallas-Fort Worth on Sept. 14 was canceled due to concerns raised by a crew member and a passenger, and American and all its regional partners have a duty to take safety and security measures journeys raised by crew members and passengers in earnest. "
In addition to a review of Saturday's incident, the airline also wrote that it is reaching out to both men.
“We are committed to providing a positive experience to anyone traveling with us. Our team is working with Mesa to review this event, and we have reached out to Mr. Alkhawaldeh and Mr. Abdallah to better understand their experience. "
The airline also confirmed that both men, along with the other passengers of the canceled flights, were rebooked on the next flight to Dallas.
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Alkhawaldeh, a Muslim motivational speaker and an AAdvantage Executive Platinum member, according to Dallas Morning News, has since called the entire ordeal. "Unacceptable."
"I literally have a hard time sleeping some nights," he said at the press conference.