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CAIR-Ohio Welcomes $50K DOT Fine of Delta Air Lines Over Mistreatment of Muslim Passengers

Department of Transportation determines Delta’s removal of Muslim passengers from flights in 2016 was discriminatory

(CINCINNATI, OH, 1/28/2020) – The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today welcomed a decision by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to fine Delta Airlines $50,000 for its treatment of three Muslim passengers on flights in 2016.

In July 2016 a young Muslim couple from the Cincinnati area went to Europe for their ten-year anniversary. On their return flight home, they were removed from the Delta flight and subjected to interrogation by French police simply because a Delta crew member felt unsafe around them. The Muslim woman wears a headscarf or “hijab†as part of her religious practice. The USDOT determined that there were no security concerns involving this couple, and that Delta Air Lines had not put forth any legitimate security concerns.

A few days later another Muslim passenger was removed from a Delta flight in Amsterdam in much the same manner. CAIR-Ohio filed a complaint in 2016 with the USDOT in regard to the Cincinnati couple’s treatment by Delta employees.

SEE: Delta Airlines is ordered to pay $50,000 fine for kicking three Muslims off two separate flights because passengers complained they made them ‘nervous’

“We welcome this decision by the Department of Transportation, which determined that our clients’ removal from the flight was discriminatory and based on their perceived religion,†said CAIR-Ohio Civil Rights Attorney Sana Hassan. “Delta has been ordered to conduct civil rights training for all involved flight, cabin crew members and customer service employees. We hope that this DOT order sends a message not just to Delta, but to all airlines, that discriminatory treatment of passengers on the basis of their race, religion and national origin is illegal and will not be tolerated.â€

Hassan noted that American law requires that airline passengers not be treated in a discriminatory manner by the airlines.

She said CAIR has published “Know Your Rights†materials online in English, Arabic, Somali, Urdu, Farsi, Bengali, and Bosnian. The multi-language civil rights materials may be printed out for personal use or for distribution at local events.

SEE: Download “Know Your Rights†Guides in Arabic, Bengali, Bosnian, Farsi, Somali, Urdu, and English 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR-Ohio Civil Rights Attorney Sana Hassan, 513-886-4300 (direct line),; CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Director Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200,

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