A Black family’s unpleasant exchange on an American Airlines flight has resulted in their plans to pursue legal action against the company.
Allan Ali, Kamia Hoilett and their newborn were asked to deplane a Philadelphia-bound flight on Sunday at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the Independent reports. After a verbal dispute with a white male co-passenger and white female flight attendant, the family was removed from the plane.
During an interview, Ali said that the altercation originated over seating arrangements as the couple and the gentleman were placed on the same row. As they stood to allow the man to get to his seat, he allegedly told them, “Y’all have to get up,” The Shade Room reported.
Ali said that the attendant had a “passive-aggressive tone” when she told Hoilett to sit down and fasten her seatbelt.
The flight attendant is accused of storming off to report the incident. After the captain was informed of the distraction, the crew was instructed to remove the family from the aircraft.
Hoilett uploaded the video to her Instagram detailing her experience. In the clip, she can be heard telling the airline employee, “I didn’t do anything,” while holding the couple’s 7-week-old baby.
In a second clip, Hoilett can be seen detailing the occurrence after the family was removed from their flight.
“Today could’ve been avoided with a little human decency and compassion,” Ali captioned the clip. “I ask you had my queen not been black… would this have occurred. The answer is unequivocally no! @americanair we need answers! Please continue to share we need justice!!!”
The couple’s flight was set for a 1 p.m. takeoff and despite the circumstances, they were successfully able to board another plane that evening.
After speaking with an attorney, the couple said they plan to file an official claim. However, they’ll have to return to the jurisdiction that American Airlines conducts their business affairs to sue.
The airline company told The Grio they are investigating those involved in the situation including the passengers and employees.
“Our values demand that all customers are treated fairly and with respect, and we find the video posted by the family concerning,” the company said in an email. “This matter has our full attention and we will take appropriate action as necessary,” the outlet reports.