To: Gary Kelly, CEO, Southwest Airlines
Tell Southwest Airlines: End Discrimination Against Arab and Muslim Passengers
Issue public apologies to Khairuldeen Makhzoomi and Hakima Abdulle, review policies for removing customers from flights, and implement anti-bias training for flight crews.
Why is this important?
Southwest Airlines claims to operate on the principle of #SouthwestHeart, but when it comes to Muslim and Arab customers, it seems to be #SouthwestHeartless.
On April 6th, the airline kicked 26 year old Khairuldeen Makhzoomi off a flight after a customer overheard him speaking Arabic on his phone. Makhzoomi was then subjected to an FBI interrogation—simply for making a phone call to his uncle.
On April 13th, a Southwest flight attendant removed Hakima Abdulle, a woman of Somali descent wearing a hijab, from a flight after she tried to switch seats with fellow passengers.
These recent cases are just part of a trend of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination by Southwest Airlines—last November, the airline delayed two men from boarding a flight after they had a conversation in Arabic together.
That same week, a Southwest pilot removed several Arabic-speaking passengers from a plane after they tried to be seated together.
People shouldn't be barred from air travel just for speaking Arabic, being Muslim, or wearing a hijab.
It's clear that Southwest needs to make some changes in how it treats its customers.
We're calling on them to publicly apologize for discrimination, review their policies, and implement anti-bias training for flight crews.