Airline Incident Prompts Muslim Group to Demand Apology from Southwest Airlines

Mar 17, 2011, 08:48

An airline incident has fueled a a San Diego Islamic advocacy group into action. The group says it wants an apology from Southwest Airlines after a woman wearing a headscarf was escorted off a flight to San Jose.

The woman, a graduate student at San Diego State University, was on the 8:15 a.m. Sunday flight to continue research at San Jose State University, Edgar Hopida, spokesman for the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The San Diego Union-Tribune Tuesday.

A Southwest crew member reportedly described the woman as suspicious, and a flight attendant claimed she heard the woman say "it's a go" during a cellphone conversation before takeoff, Hopida said.

The woman, whose name had not been released, claims she actually said, "I've got to go."

Once she was removed, federal Transportation Security Administration officers did not search her or her luggage and didn't question her in an interview room, Hopida said.

Instead, he said, they took her to a Southwest ticket counter and she left on the next flight to San Jose.

Southwest Airlines spokesman Chris Mainz said the airline could not comment on the specific allegations. "We're in the process of collecting the facts and researching this situation," he said.

Source: UPI