Monday October 18, 2021

Boxer Amir Khan removed from US flight

September 20, 2021
Boxer Amir Khan removed from US flight

NEW YORK: British boxer Amir Khan has been removed from a flight in the US after a reported row over face coverings, foreign media reported. Amir Khan, 34, said he had been taken off the American Airlines plane along with a colleague by police when someone complained his friend’s mask "was not high enough".

The airline said the flight from Newark Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth returned to the gate after two people reportedly "refused to comply with crew requests". It denied that police had intervened. A spokesman for the airline said: "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."

In a video posted to Twitter, Amir Khan said he was flying to a training camp in Colorado after a stay in New York and was left "disgusted" by his treatment. The former light-welterweight world champion, from Bolton, said: "I was taken off the plane today when I was going to training camp to Colorado Springs, by the police. Obviously, a complaint was made by American Airlines staff, they said that my colleague’s mask was not high enough and not up, that they had to stop the plane and take me and my friend off when I did nothing wrong."

He added: "Now I have to reschedule another airplane to travel back to training camp which is really upsetting, for no reason this was and I'm just so disgusted that American Airlines would do this to us and ban me from travelling."

American Airlines said Flight 700 returned to the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey after two customers "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".

It said "per protocol" police were present when the aircraft returned to the gate but were not involved in asking either passenger to leave the plane and did not intervene. Neither Amir Khan nor his colleague had been banned from the airline, it added.