On Wednesday, Hakima Abdulle was flying from Washington, D.C., to Seattle on a Southwest flight when she was seated between two men. The devout Muslim, from Somalian, felt uncomfortable with the seating arrangement, so she asked another passenger to trade seats.
The passenger obliged, but a flight attendant confronted Abdulle before she could move to the new spot, and said, “You are not going to sit. You have to leave the airplane.” Humiliated, Abdulle left the plane as instructed and was booked onto another flight later that day.
The Council on American Islamic Relations demanded the airline apologize to Abdulle and refund her airfare, then make sure the flight attendant in question undergo diversity training, but Southwest said the staffer followed proper procedures in response to Abdulle’s actions.