(Adds latest Delta statement, paragraphs 2 and 8, other
By Alana Wise
NEW YORK Dec 21 Delta Air Lines Inc
removed two men from a plane at London's Heathrow Airport before
takeoff on Wednesday, and one of the men accused the airline of
acting on passenger complaints that he had been speaking on a
phone in Arabic.
In a statement after Delta Flight 1 landed in New York,
Delta said the man, Adam Saleh, and the other passenger were
removed because they "sought to disrupt the cabin with
provocative behavior, including shouting." The airline said its
information was based on statements collected from the flight
crew and other passengers.
Saleh, a Muslim American and YouTube personality, has posted
what he calls "experiment" videos in the past showing him
speaking Arabic on planes.
On Wednesday, Saleh posted a video to his verified Twitter
account, followed by 315,000 users, showing himself and a second
passenger being escorted off of the flight.
"We're getting kicked out because we spoke a different
language... Six white people against us bearded men," he said
from the plane's cabin.
Several passengers can be seen heckling him and waving
goodbye as he leaves the aircraft.
It was not immediately clear what took place before the
"What is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our
passengers and employees. It is clear these individuals sought
to violate that priority," the Delta statement said.
Airlines have in recent months battled negative publicity
over incidents in which Muslim passengers were removed from
In November, a supporter of U.S. President-elect Donald
Trump was allowed to stay on a domestic U.S. flight after going
on an expletive-filled rant. He was later banned for life from
(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Howard Goller and Grant