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Delta Faces Public-Relations Nightmare from YouTube Creator

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Delta Faces Public-Relations Nightmare from YouTube Creator

Delta Faces Public-Relations Nightmare from YouTube Creator
December 21
10:24 2016

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines is facing a public-relations nightmare, Wednesday, after Adam Saleh, a popular YouTube creator,  was kicked off a flight for supposedly speaking Arabic. Saleh, 22, is of Yemeni descent, and was preparing to fly on Delta flight 1 from London Heathrow to New York JFK before the event unfolded.

After filming his altercation with Delta representatives onboard the aircraft, Saleh posted the video on his Twitter account (@omgAdamSaleh). With over 250K followers, the video quickly went viral. At the time of publishing, the tweet had over 175,000 retweets and 110,000 favorites, and the hashtag #BoycottDelta is now trending on Twitter.

Saleh continued to post about the incident and claimed that the ordeal began after speaking Arabic to his mother on the plane. After being escorted off of the aircraft, Saleh claimed police questioned him and rescreened him before being put on another flight.

Delta released a 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.

Maintaining a safe, comfortable and orderly onboard environment is paramount for every flight and requires the cooperation of all of our customers in conjunction with adherence to directions from our crew members. This is a Delta policy and is required by U.S. regulations as well as others governing aviation worldwide.”

With little information known about the incident, many have questioned the authenticity of the claims made by Saleh. As a famous YouTube creator, Saleh is notorious for controversial “social experiments” that have involved race relations in the past. In October of 2014, Saleh released a video highlighting the mistreatment Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent face from Law Enforcement. After receiving nearly two million views and causing an online backlash against the NYPD, Saleh admitted the prank was staged.

We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds.

Notice: Story updated with additional quote from Delta

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Benjamin Bearup

Benjamin Bearup

Aviation journalist from Atlanta, Georgia. Business student at the University of Georgia with a passion for aviation business management. ben@airwaysmag.com @TheAviationBeat

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