The Infuriating Reason Black Passengers Say They Were Kicked off a Spirit Flight

November 3rd 2015

Kyle Jaeger

Seven Black passengers were kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight at a Los Angeles airport on Monday after flight crew members allegedly complained about the passengers' disruptive behavior. The passengers have accused the flight attendants of racial discrimination.

The Dallas-bound flight was delayed for about three hours as Los Angeles police escorted the passengers off the plane, in a scene that was partially recorded on a cell phone camera. Shortly after 7:15 PM, two people were removed from the apparently overbooked flight after a crew member accused one man of being disruptive.

"It's a business dispute," LAX police spokesman Rob Pedregon told the New York Daily News. "It's up to [Spirit Airlines] to define what is disruptive."

But when fliers began to question the crew's reasoning for booting the couple off the flight, suggesting that they had been discriminated against because of their race, Los Angeles police were called back and five additional Black passengers were escorted off the plane. Some witnesses on the plane described the situation on Twitter.

"I'm really humiliated just for the simple fact that, you know, you hear about this type of stuff happening in America—discrimination issues and stuff like that—but to actually experience it firsthand," Alexandria Write, one of the seven passengers who was removed from the flight, told CBS affiliate KCAL-TV. "It was more than just us having the conversation. Why is it that six black people got kicked off the plane?"

This is not the first time that a Spirit crew member has been accused of racial discrimination. Last year, a Black man was allegedly instructed to find a seat near the back of a plane after notifying a flight attendant that another man was sitting in his assigned seat. Witnesses told the Root that the attendant "sided with the white passenger" during the dispute, but the company claims that the witness misinterpreted what she saw.

ATTN: reached out to Spirit Airlines, but a representative for the company could not be reached by the time of publication.