Did Delta Just Kick This Guy Off a Flight For Speaking Arabic?
This is complicated.
Adam Saleh is an actor and a rapper based in New York. He’s also known through his popular Youtube channel as a prankster… and an occasionally aggressive one at that. That’s why Saleh’s apparent ejection from a Delta flight and his subsequent tweet storm about it isn’t as simple as it first seems.
delta airlines kicked us out for speaking Arabic to my mom on a plane https://t.co/ZLyIT4ORdY
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
As Saleh says in his video, he was overheard speaking to his mother in Arabic. According to him, this caused discomfort for several white passengers, and he was subsequently removed from the flight.
If true, Saleh’s outrage would be understandable. However his record for pulling pranks immediately prompted skepticism on social media.
One example is a 15-plus minute video which includes him counting down in Arabic while sitting on a plane.
Delta, however, has indeed confirmed that Adam Saleh was taken off a flight for making passengers uncomfortable. Via BuzzFeed, here’s a portion of the airline’s statement regarding the incident:
Two customers were removed from Delta Flight 1 departing London-Heathrow today after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort.
We have spoken with the customers who were removed; they were rebooked on another flight. Plans are in place to immediately speak with our crew and other passengers when the flight lands this afternoon. We will provide an update once we have more information.
While it isn’t clear whether Saleh was perhaps indulging in another intentionally provocative prank similar to the “countdown” video, it’s clear that his actual ejection really happened.
It’s not a good idea for anyone to play around with security fears on airlines since 2001. We suspect the full story of Saleh’s experience has yet to be told.