Muslim woman sues Southwest Airlines after being taken off flight
Irum Abbasi, who was wearing a hijab, the Islamic head scarf, was seated on a flight preparing to depart from San Diego's Lindbergh Field for San Jose when a flight attendant became concerned about something she thought Abbasi had said on her cellphone.
Abbasi later said that she told someone on her cellphone, "I have to go," but that the attendant thought she had said, "It's a go."
Abbasi was escorted off the plane by an employee of the Transportation Security Administration.
The lawsuit, filed on her behalf by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-California and noted San Diego civil liberties attorney James McElroy, charges the airline with discrimination.
Three days after the March 13 incident, the airline apologized and noted that Abbasi was seated on the next flight to San Jose and given a travel voucher.
"We sincerely apologize for the customer's inconvenience," the airline said in its public apology.
McElroy and representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations have scheduled a news conference Thursday outside the terminal at Lindbergh Field to discuss the lawsuit.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Irum Abbasi
Credit: Council on American-Islamic Relations