Amir Khan claims he was ‘picked on’ when removed from US flight
British boxer Amir Khan (Photo: Instagram)
AMIR KHAN claims he was “picked on” and “treated so badly” during the incident where he and his friend were removed from an American Airlines flight after an alleged row over face coverings.
The incident happened when the British boxer was flying to a training camp in Colorado from New York, when someone in the flight complained about his colleague’s face covering was “not high enough”.
The 34-year-old said his “mask was always up” and claims he “did not argue” with flight attendants when they asked his friend to lift his mask up.
Speaking to Sky News about the incident, Khan said he had “done nothing wrong”.
Khan said: “I got on the plane and I was sat on seat number 1A and 1B was for my friend who was coming to train with me.
“As soon as I was on the plane I was on a phone call and the stewardess said to put my phone call down – which I did. I put it down I didn’t argue. I had my mask on and everything was fine.
“My friend must have been drinking some water and put his mask down a little bit. The lady then came and said ”please you need to put your mask up”. It must have been a little bit lower, just below his nose and he fixed that.
“And then the plane is moving now so I’m leaning on the side of the window and trying to fall asleep. I was on my way to Colorado for my training camp and then the plane for some reason stops and when it stops I pull up the window to see what has happened.
“Before I know it the doors open up and three officers walk in and the air stewardess tells says me and my friend need to leave.
“I hadn’t done anything wrong, my mask was always up and I just feel that I got treated so badly.
“It was quite embarrassing standing up in front of a full plane and I think even they were shocked thinking ”why are the police on the areophane?”.
“We got taken out and they just said that we were not paying attention to instructions they had given us.
“They said that my bag was out and I wasn’t listening and argued with them which I never did. I didn’t argue with them and my bag was in the storage area at the top of the luggage area.”
“I just feel like I was treated very badly. It was a week after 9/11 and I do feel like things were a little bit tense. To be picked on, two Asian boys sat at the front. Being pulled off the plane, it was quite embarrassing really,” he added.
After the incident, in a video on social media last week Khan said he was “disgusted” by the alleged treatment onboard the flight.
In response to the incident involving the boxer, 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.”