Mr. Saleh was born and raised in New York City. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, he was afraid to tell people he was Muslim, but he later embraced his culture and religion: “I wanted to show people we can have fun, we can be normal just like everyone else.”
Adam Saleh “YouTube star” who were returning home to New York after a world tour said he was removed from a Delta Air Lines flight in London after other passengers expressed discomfort with their presence on the plane.
Adam Saleh is known for his elaborate pranks on YouTube, but he claims what happened to him on a Delta Air Lines flight. Adam Saleh posted on Twitter that he and a friend were kicked off of a Delta flight after speaking in Arabic. “We got kicked out of a @Delta airplane because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone and with my friend slim,” he said in a Tweet.
According to Adam Saleh, who has 2.2m followers on YouTube, the incident began when he telephoned his Arabic-speaking mother while waiting to depart from London for New York.
In the video posted on Twitter, Saleh records himself as he is escorted off the plane.
“Guys we spoke a different language on a plane, and now we are getting kicked out,” a visibly upset Saleh says.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
Mr. Saleh said he had just spoken to his mother on the phone, in Arabic, to tell her when his flight would land. After the call, he and Mr. Albaher continued to speak briefly in Arabic, when they were interrupted by a woman in front of them who asked them to speak English because they were making her uncomfortable.
Saleh’s tweets were shared tens of thousands of times. Within a few hours, the original video depicting him on the plane had been retweeted more than 500,000 times and #BoycottDelta had become the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter.
It shouldn't matter if you're a YouTube star/prankster, if you're telling me you've been discriminated, then I'm believing you #BoycottDelta
— Kevin Maxwell (@kevin_maxwell) December 21, 2016
if speaking arabic isnt allowed, then stop eating hummus, getting henna tattoos, & eating arab food. #BoycottDelta
— rida ✈️ (@freespiritrida) December 21, 2016
— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) December 21, 2016
— Brown Saraah (@Brown_Saraah) December 21, 2016
The fact Adam makes prank videos does not mean this is a prank, get your head out of you asses and do something about this #BoycottDelta
— Adam Saleh Updates (@SalehUpdates) December 21, 2016
Delta released a statement after the YouTube star who is famous for hoaxes posted a video on social media accusing the airline of discrimination after he spoke in Arabic on a flight.
Delta Airlines Statement for Adam Saleh incident:
“Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting,” Delta said in a statement Wednesday. “This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight. While one, according to media reports, is a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his traveling companion, what is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our passengers and employees. It is clear these individuals sought to violate that priority.”
Delta statement after the incident, asserting that the company “condemns discrimination in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or gender” and offered the couple a full refund of their tickets, promising they would continue to investigate the incident.
Subsequently, Adam Saleh posted a statement addressing Delta’s response as the airline trying to deny it to save their brand reputation!
Thank you for all your support pic.twitter.com/ukQ4EGVQ6r
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 22, 2016
On a separate note: In a statement, staff with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the US, said they were working to investigate the incident:
“CAIR is concerned about any allegation that a passenger has been removed from a flight for speaking Arabic. Racial and religious profiling of Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim, is a real and continuing problem. We don’t yet know whether this case fits that troubling pattern, and are currently trying to determine the facts based on input from all parties involved in the incident.”
Fun Fact: Adam gained over 60,000 followers on twitter in one day!