Southwest Airlines Ejects Muslim Passenger (Again) After She Requested Seat Change Due To Religious Reasons


Southwest Airlines seems to have affection for making headlines by removing Muslim passengers from their flights, this time it involves a woman who asked her male seatmates to change seats due to her religion.

Southwest 737 Muslim

The lady was seated in a middle seat between two male passengers and she inquired directly with them short after which the flight attendant instructed her to leave the aircraft.

What’s up with all these muslim related incidents on Southwest? Compared to other airlines they really have an above average rate of booting passengers off their airplanes based on their faith or related appearance.

New York Daily News (access here) wrote about it earlier today.

A Muslim Maryland woman claims she was kicked off a Southwest flight after she asked to switch seats because of her religious beliefs.

Hakima Abdulle of Takoma Park was flying from Washington, D.C., to Seattle Wednesday when she was seated between two men after a layover in Chicago, her husband, Abukar Fidaw, told WJLA.

The devout Muslim, who is from Somalian descent and was wearing a hijab, felt uncomfortable sitting between two people of the opposite sex, so she asked another passenger to trade seats. The other flyer agreed, but a flight attendant confronted Abdulle before she could move to the new spot, Fidaw said.

“She tried to sit but (the flight attendant) said, ‘You are not going to sit. You have to leave the airplane,’” Abukar Fidaw said. Humiliated, Abdulle left the plane as instructed. She was booked onto another flight later that day. …

Southwest told local media that the staffer followed proper procedures but did not elaborate on what led the flight attendant to ask Abdulle to leave.

Except there was something going on the multiple news outlets haven’t figured out yet I’d be seriously interested what ‘procedure’ Southwest is referring to when they say their crew member acted correctly.

Unless it’s indeed modus operandi for the airline to go after Muslim Passengers as The Economist reported in November last year (see here).


Again, there might be something missing but as far as the reports go the lady asked her seatmates directly and they appeared to be ok with the change. Even though I can’t imagine anyone being happy about flying cross country from D.C. to Seattle in a middle seat but that’s an entirely different matter.

Not sure what the flight attendant has to do with this or what brought this matter to her attention in the first place. Seems to be just another ‘out of control’ flight attendant who would better be reassigned to clean the gate area of some airport or even better anywhere without direct customer contact.