Thursday, November 08, 2007

Iraqi Passengers Sue American Airlines: Meet More John Does

Word is out in the professional whining community. Act belligerent on an airplane and seek monetary reward.

Iraqi passengers sue airline, claim discrimination
A group of Iraqi Pentagon contractors is suing American Airlines claiming racial discrimination for delaying its flight, but a police report shows that some of the men might have been intoxicated, behaved in a frightening and belligerent manner and scared one family off the plane.

The captain of American Airlines Flight 590 from San Diego to Chicago delayed the late-night Aug. 28 takeoff after crew members reported that they "did not feel safe," according to the report obtained by The Washington Times.

The Iraqi men filed the lawsuit last week in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan, where they live, saying they were falsely identified as "posing a risk to security by reliance on racial profiling and through discrimination based on race and national origin."

The captain did not alert the passengers to any danger and instead said the plane had to return to the gate because of an 11:30 p.m. airport curfew.

The men left the plane with the other passengers, but the lawsuit says they were singled out and removed from the flight because they spoke to one another in Arabic.

Once inside the gate area, the lawsuit states, the men "were pulled aside from a crowd of roughly 120 passengers as 'persons of suspicion" inappropriately thought to pose a threat to security."

However, a Port of San Diego police officer reported that he was first approached by one of the men, Dave Al-Watan, "who asked me what the problem was."

The officer said in his report that Mr. Al-Watan had "red, watery eyes and had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath." Another officer who approached the group said he smelled alcohol but could not pinpoint who might have been drinking.
I smell the hand of CAIR here somewhere.
The lawsuit was filed by Mr. Al-Watan, Talal Cholagh, Ali Alzerej, Hassan Alzerej, Hussein Al-Salih and Mohammad Al-Saedy. The men are asking for a jury trial, financial damages and attorney fees.

The men also are suing the flight attendants, who are named in the complaint as "John Doe."

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