An American YouTube star says that he and a friend were removed from a Delta flight from London to New York City after he was overheard by other passengers speaking in Arabic, ABC News reports.
The airline later confirmed that two passengers were indeed removed from the flight after several passengers expressed "discomfort," but did not elaborate as to why.
"Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort," Delta said in a statement, as ABC notes. "We're conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect."
As the outcry rose over the allegations that YouTuber Adam Saleh was removed for speaking Arabic, the airline released another statement saying, "We take all allegations of discrimination seriously and we are gathering all of the facts before jumping to any conclusion. Our culture requires treating everyone with respect. Furthermore, Delta people are trained to and frequently handle conflicts between passengers."
Saleh posted a video to Twitter showing himself in the aisle of the plane just before being removed. Saleh said he was kicked off for "speaking a different language."
However, as ABC News notes, some online commenters have been skeptical about the claims, given Saleh's penchant for pranks, which he has posted on social media in the past.
Saleh did speak to the New York Times on Wednesday, insisting that this time, it was no stunt.
“The only thing I can say is, I would never film a phone video. That’s when it’s really serious, and I must film,” he told the Times.