YouTuber Adam Saleh thrown off plane 'for speaking Arabic'

YouTuber Adam Saleh thrown off plane 'for speaking Arabic'
The Arab-American YouTube star with over two million subscribers says he is the latest to be removed from a flight because of his language and ethnicity.
3 min read
21 Dec, 2016
Adam Saleh removed from a Delta Air Lines flight to New York [YouTube]
American YouTube personality Adam Saleh has claimed that he was kicked off a Delta Air Lines flight because he spoke in Arabic while on the phone to his mother.

In a video posted to social media, Saleh is shown confronting airline staff on board a plane that was due to fly to New York.

"We spoke a different language on the plane, and now we're getting kicked out," the 23-year-old prankster, who has more than 2.2 million YouTube followers, said in a video filmed as the incident unfolded, and posted on Twitter.

Saleh said he had been talking to his mother on the phone when fellow passengers complained, and he was told to leave.

"You guys are racists. I spoke a different language and you say you feel uncomfortable! I can't believe my eyes. We spoke a different language and now there are six white people against us bearded men."

The video also shows a group of passengers mocking Saleh by waving goodbye from their seats.

Thousands of users on Twitter shared Saleh's video and expressed their disgust at the alleged act of discrimination, using the hashtag #BoycottDelta.

The hashtag began trending worldwide, with many reiterating grievances about racism and Islamophobia.

Some also directed their anger at the passengers who allegedly made the complaint about Saleh that led to him being removed.

Others expressed scepticism at Saleh's version of events, citing his penchant for pulling pranks and staging social experiments for his YouTube channel. Saleh recently posted a video that appeared to show him travelling from Melbourne to Sydney inside a suitcase in the aircraft's baggage hold. The airline later issued a statement challenging the YouTuber's claims, saying that he had sat in his seat while on the flight.

After the video was shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, Delta Air Lines responded with a statement.

"Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort," the statement read.

"We're conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect."

Footage that was later broadcasted via Periscope showed Saleh in London Heathrow Terminal Three. He later boarded another flight to New York.

In the last year, many similar incidents have been reported in the United States, where Arab travellers have been removed from flights due to fears over their appearance or language.

In August this year, Delta Air Lines was embroiled in another incident when a Muslim couple claimed they were singled out by airline staff. According to Faisal Ali and Nazia Ali, flight crew removed them from a flight because they were "sweating" and saying the word "Allah" on a flight from Paris to Cincinnati, Ohio.