Extra Credit Blog
Southwest Airlines has been under the heat this past month after allegedly removing a passenger off of one it’s flights for speaking Arabic. Khairuldeen Makhzoomi was removed after another passenger had heard him make “comments perceived to be threatening” in Arabic. Southwest Airlines released a statement saying that they were following protocol and that it was not the language that Makhzoomi was speaking, but the content of his conversation that was the reason why they decided to follow through and investigate.
When this broke the news the public took to Twitter to voice their defense for Makhzoomi. This is a major crisis for Southwest Airlines. They are receiving negative press and being accused of islamophobia. This is extremely hurtful for Southwest’s brand and they will need to come up with a plan to fix this issue quick. The statement they had released so far isn’t exactly helping the issue and they will need to address the press again and possibly give Makhzoomi the apology that he has been waiting for.
On the other hand, Delta Airlines is receiving a lot of positive press from this situation because Makhzoomi had booked his flight with Delta after he was removed from the SouthWest aircraft. This is giving Delta free press coverage and will make the people who were greatly upset with Southwest choose to fly with Delta before thinking twice of flying with Southwest.
I don’t think it was necessary for Southwest to remove Makhzoomi from the flight due to such a minor incident, especially because it was heard from a source that wasn’t exactly reliable. I think Southwest could have dealt with the situation effectively while still on the aircraft and not causing as much of an issue as they did. I also think it is interesting how Delta is benefiting from Southwest’s mistake.