19 Sep Boxer Amir Khan removed from US flight over alleged row about colleague’s face mask ‘not high enough’ | Ents & Arts News
British boxer Amir Khan was removed from a flight in the US over an alleged row about face coverings.
The 34-year-old, who has also appeared on reality television shows including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, said he was given a police escort off the plane and “banned” from travelling by American Airlines.
Khan said he was trying to fly to a training camp in Colorado from New York, but he and a colleague were removed when someone complained his colleague’s mask “was not high enough”.
He spoke of being “disgusted” by his alleged treatment, adding that there was “no reason” for him to be removed.
The airline said the flight from Newark Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth returned to the gate after two people reportedly refused crew member requests to “stow luggage, place cell phones in airplane mode and adhere to federal face covering requirements”.
It denied that police had intervened and that Khan and his colleague have been banned from future travel.
In a video posted to Twitter the sports star said: “I was taken off the plane today when I was going to training camp to Colorado Springs by the police.
“Obviously a complaint was made by American Airlines staff, they said that my colleague’s mask was not high enough and not up, that they had to stop the plane and take me and my friend off when I did nothing wrong.
“They kicked us both off, I was sat on 1A, he was sat on 1B – I find it so disgusting and so disrespectful, I was supposed to go to Colorado Springs for a training camp and now I’m back in New York for another day.
“Now I have to reschedule another airplane to travel back to training camp which is really upsetting, for no reason this was and I’m just so disgusted that American Airlines would do this to us and ban me from travelling.
“I’m sure there must be cameras on the airplane that they could see, or someone should see, to see that if my colleague really was bad in anyway or caused a scene in a way where he had to be taken off the plane – I’ve never seen this happen before.”
An American Airlines spokesman said: “Prior to take-off, American Airlines Flight 700, with service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), returned to the gate to deplane two customers who reportedly refused to comply with repeated crew member requests to stow luggage, place cell phones in airplane mode and adhere to federal face covering requirements.
“Our customer relations team is reaching out to Mr Khan to learn more about his experience and reinforce the importance of policies implemented for the safety of our customers and crew.”