A 23-year-old woman said she was racially profiled and removed from a recent Alaska Airlines flight.
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Lawyers for Poorvi Nair said she was scrolling through Facebook on a plane that was scheduled to leave Paine Field in Everett when she was escorted off by Alaska Airlines personnel.
"I was frustrated, I was stressed, I was humiliated having to get off the airplane in the first place," Poorvi Nair said. "All I could do was cry."
Nair’s lawyers said she later learned that another passenger allegedly had claimed she was texting something and that the crew no longer felt comfortable with her on board.
“Upon discovering the basis for her removal from the plane, Poorvi said she was humiliated, embarrassed and felt helpless – leading to dire frustration and shock leaving her in tears,” Nair’s lawyers said in a news release.
Eventually, Nair said, she had to rent a car to get back to Portland.
A spokesman with Alaska Airlines sent the following statement in response to the claims:
"We're deeply sorry for Ms. Nair's experience while traveling with us. She should not have been removed from her flight.
“We contacted Ms. Nair immediately after the event and have stayed in communication with her to apologize for what she experienced.
“We pride ourselves on treating all of our guests with care and respect -- and regret that we fell short in this case. We will learn from this and aim to make the situation right for Ms. Nair and earn her trust.”
Later Friday, a spokesman with Alaska Airlines sent another statement to KIRO 7:
"Ms. Nair was ticketed to travel from San Jose, California, to Paine Field in Everett on May 24. In San Jose, we inadvertently deleted her final flight segment from Paine Field to Portland.
"Even though Ms. Nair had a boarding pass for the final segment, its deletion in our system caused a discrepancy in the manifest. FAA rules require us to confirm that each boarded passenger appears on the manifest. We asked her to deplane as we addressed the discrepancy. We did not handle this situation appropriately.
"We are always committed to doing a better job, and we’re taking steps to make sure this doesn’t occur again."