Allan Ali, his partner Kamia Hoilett, and their newborn daughter were traveling home to Philadelphia on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, North Carolina when the incident happened.
In a now-viral video, a flight attendant can be seen having an argument with them while Hoilett was holding their baby. Via the audio, the family was being instructed to get their belongings and exit the flight.
The verbal altercation apparently started when the couple got out of their seats to let a white male passenger, who came late, to get to his seat. The man was accompanied by a flight attendant as he walked by the aisle. Ali said he recalled the flight attendant aggressively telling them, “Y’all have to get up.”
They obliged but because the attendant was blocking the aisle, they could not move. When Hoilett asked if she could move to allow extra room, the attendant apparently replied, “Is this going to be a problem?”
The flight attendant continued treating them rudely, ordering them to sit down and fasten their seatbelt, which prompted Kamia to tell the attendant that she didn’t like how she spoke to her. That’s when the attendant stormed off to report the issue to the captain.
The family was removed from the flight right before departure, as per the captain’s decision. They were rebooked on a later flight, which was a big inconvenience as they had to wait at the airport for several hours while tending for their newborn baby.
Allan said they will file an official complaint regarding the unfair treatment they experienced.
Meanwhile, the American Airlines issued a statement saying they are “actively looking” into the incident, according to Travel Noire.
“Our values demand that all customers are treated fairly and with respect, and we find the video posted by the family concerning. We have reached out to the customers involved to understand their experience, and are seeking additional information from other passengers on board and team members who were present. This matter has our full attention, and we will take appropriate action as necessary,” it said.