Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 5:17 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 5:17 PM
By: Theresa Seiger - Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A man and his companion were escorted off a United Airlines plane over the weekend after he made racist remarks to a Pakistani couple, according to multiple reports.
The passengers, who were not identified, were traveling Saturday from Chicago to Houston when the man in question spotted a Pakistani man and woman dressed in traditional garb, KHOU reported. As the Pakistani pair put their bags into the bin above their seats, the man asked whether they had a bomb.
It appeared the pair didn't hear him, so he repeated the question.
"That's not a bomb in your bag, is it?" he asked, according to a woman on the flight who spoke to KHOU.
The comment made at least three passengers uncomfortable enough to complain to flight attendants. Among them was the unidentified woman who spoke to KHOU and her boyfriend, who is Indian-American.
After they lodged their complaints, the man in question confronted them.
"(He) asked where my boyfriend was from (and) my boyfriend said, 'It's none of your business,'" the woman told KHOU. "At that point, he said all illegals and all foreigners need to leave the country."
In cellphone footage captured before the man and his companion were escorted from the flight, the man can be heard saying that all "illegals" need to "get out."
Seconds later, a flight attendant asks him to gather his belongings and get off the plane. His companion joins him, smiling sarcastically and occasionally waving a middle finger at the person recording the incident.
"Happy flight home," the man tells the person recording as he grabs a bag from an overhead bin. "I hope you stay there."
"Get out of here," a woman responds. "Racists aren't welcome in America. This is not Trump's America."
As the man waves, passengers can be heard cheering.
"Goodbye, racists," a woman says.
"Hey, I'll come back, but you'll be gone," the man responds.
United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin told The Washington Post the man and woman who were escorted off the plane were able to get on a later flight to Houston.
"We removed two passengers for making others feel uncomfortable on the flight and for saying some inappropriate things to customers on the flight," Guerin told the Post. "Most customers appreciate a place where they feel safe and where they're not going to be attacked, and we want to provide that."