California College Student Removed From Southwest Airlines Flight After Speaking Arabic


LAX Police Say Arabic-Speaking Man Broke No Law

The Latest news on a University of California, Berkeley, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old Iraqi student  that was removed from the April 9 flight, detained, and later interrogated by the FBI. This was after a passenger observed him speaking in Arabic on his phone.

According to Makhzoomi, he had in fact been speaking to his uncle in Arabic about a dinner he had attended the night before at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and upon ending the call with a customary “inshallah,” noticed that a passenger was looking at him suspiciously.

A spokesman for Los Angeles International Airport police says officers have that the Berkeley student broke no laws when he spoke in Arabic on his cellphone while seated on a Southwest Airlines plane.

Officer Rob Pedregon of the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department said Monday that officers from his department and agents from the FBI both interviewed Khairuldeen Makhzoomi after he was taken off the April 9 flight.

Southwest Airlines says another Arabic-speaking passenger heard Makhzoomi mention a terrorist organization during his conversation and became alarmed.

“The statement he made was not illegal, there was nothing that involved threats or anything like that so he was released,” Pedregon said.

He said airport police consider the case closed. Southwest has removed two Muslim passengers from flights in the past few weeks.

Source: The Associated press

From South West Airlines – April 18 2016 – DALLAS, TX

Statement Regarding Customer Situation on Flight 4620

A Southwest passenger onboard flight 4620 heard another passenger make comments perceived to be threatening and notified our Crew. Both passengers involved in the situation spoke a shared language, Arabic. Our Crew responded by following protocol, as required by federal law, to investigate and report to law enforcement agencies any potential threat to civil aviation. It was the content of the passenger’s conversation, not the language used, that prompted the report leading to our investigation. We provided the passenger an immediate refund of his unused ticket. Federal law enforcement agents became involved and conducted their own investigation.

We regret any less than positive experience a Customer has onboard our aircraft. We welcome onboard more than a hundred million Customers each year; and we aim safely to transport each, while maintaining the comfort of all. Safety is our always first focus, and our Employees are trained to make decisions to safeguard the security of our Crews and Customers on every flight. We would not remove a passenger from a flight without a collaborative decision rooted in established procedures. Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. Our Company could not survive if we practiced or believed otherwise. In fact, a cursory view of our workforce, as well as our expansive, multi-cultural Customer base is a reliable indicator that we exalt and appreciate diversity.

United Flight Returns to Hawaii Because of Fuel Issues Due to Headwinds


A United Airlines plane headed for San Francisco was forced to go back to Hawaii on Sunday after strong winds they didn’t predict threatened to exhaust all of the plane’s fuel or at least push it past the legal limit.

United Flight 724 carrying 263 passengers and 12 crew members landed safely at Honolulu airport on Sunday after the ‘strong headwinds’ caused the flight to turn around after two hours, according to ABC.

FlightAware mapped out the path of the airplane that was turned around by crew who were following the rules about the legal amount of fuel.

‘When the headwinds are greater than what were expected, and are going to be sustained for four or five hours of flight, you’re simply not going to be able to land with your legal minimum of fuel,’ ABC aviation expert John Nance said.


You Can Now Get Your Boarding Pass on Facebook Messenger on KLM flights


Facebook has been talking on and on this past year about turning Messenger into a more than just a chat service, and a service being launched today illustrates exactly what that future looks like. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is now giving passengers the option to receive flight updates through Messenger. If they agree while booking a ticket, KLM will then start up a chat thread, where it’ll send booking confirmation, flight status, and any scheduling changes. It’ll also send over a boarding pass, which passengers will be able to use to get through security and onto their flight.

Digital boarding passes aren’t anything new, but Messenger’s conversational interface is. It’s a familiar way for KLM to get in touch with customers, and a convenient one for the many people who already use Messenger daily to get in touch with friends. KLM goes beyond just sending updates, too — passengers will also be able to chat with KLM support right inside of Messenger.

David Marcus, who leads the Messenger team at Facebook, makes it sound like KLM is just the start of its work with airlines. “This is one that I’ve been personally eager to solve for a while,” Marcus says. “Removing stress, and complication from air travel.” He refers to KLM as Facebook’s “first airline partner,” which certainly suggests Facebook is looking to add more.



Two planes collide at Jakarta airport

Batik Air

Batik Air is a full-service airline and a subsidiary of Lion Air. A press release from Lion Air said that the Batik Air plane had been cleared for take-off by airport controllers, but collided with the smaller TransNusa aircraft that was being towed by a tractor.

A total of 49 passengers and 7 crew members were on board and all were evacuated via the plane’s emergency slide.

Batik Airs wing clipped the tail of the TransNusa aircraft and the left wing of Batik Airs Boeing 737 have been badly damaged.

There were no reports of casualties in the incident, Lion Air added. “With regard to the incident, we are waiting for the results of investigations from the relevant authorities,” said Edward Sirait, president director of Lion Air Group.

Transnusa AT42 at Jakarta on Apr 4th 2016, collision on runway

Passenger is banned for life from ALL British Airways flights after getting into a fight about ‘stretching her legs’


Bridget Nhire, 33, was handcuffed and escorted off a plane in Dubai, but says she did nothing wrong.

After arguing with the passenger behind her on a flight from London to Dubai, Bridget Nhire, 33, was handcuffed and escorted off the flight. Nhire claims she did nothing wrong, but the passenger behind her—who complained Nhire repeatedly left her seat—and others on the flight disagree.

The Daily Mail reports that passengers say Nhire became intoxicated, made racist remarks to the crew, got up from her seat at least 20 times, yelled, and even tried to run toward—and get into—the cockpit. Nhire disputes these claims, saying she only got up three times, had two glasses of wine with her meal, and has a right to get up and walk around. “I was treated like a terrorist,” said Nhire. “It was humiliating.”

However a passenger on the plane, who wished to remain anonymous, told MailOnline: ‘She went to the toilet at least 20 times and had what looked like little bottles of alcohol in her hand.
‘She was screaming at people for about an hour and the staff went over to calm her down, at which point she started shouting “This is because I’m black. This is racist”.
‘She started shouting at a man a few seats behind her who was telling her to shut up and she was trying to reach across to him. She was really aggressive.’
‘Then she ran to the front of the plane to the cockpit and said “I’m going to talk to the pilot”, at which point the air stewards had to restrain her.
‘At least four people were trying to handcuff her, and one put a blanket over her head. It was genuinely traumatising.

Ms Nhire was forced to sit, accompanied by a security guard, for 90 minutes until the plane landed.

Though there was talk of an emergency landing in Iran, where the plane was flying over at the time, Nhire was ultimately forced to sit accompanied by a security guard for 90 minutes until the plane landed in Dubai.She was taken to the police station and released without charges five hours later, though was notified that British Airways had made the “rare” decision to ban her.

Virgin Alaska

Virgin America merger with Alaska Airlines

Virgin Alaska

On April 4 2016, Virgin America announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Alaska Airlines. We believe that by joining two West-Coast based airlines known for their focus on customer loyalty and operational excellence, we will create a stronger and more competitive airline – and one that offers even more destinations and flights for travelers.

What does the merger mean for guests – and when will we begin to see changes?

In the short-term it will be business as usual and as we go forward, we expect that it will be business even better than usual. If you have an upcoming flight with Virgin America, there are no changes to your travel plans.

An airline merger is a complex process that takes some time to complete. For the next several months, until the transaction is officially approved by shareholders and regulators, it will be business as usual and Virgin America and Alaska will continue to operate as independent airlines.

We will each maintain separate websites, separate guest service teams and distinct frequent flyer programs. If you book a Virgin America flight, you will fly on Virgin America.  In short, there will be no immediate changes in what you have come to expect from our award-winning booking experience on, our product or our guest service.

Why is Virgin America merging with Alaska Airlines? 

Although we are proud to have built a successful airline with such a loyal guest following, the fact is we are operating in an increasingly consolidated industry, and we believe by joining forces with Alaska, we will create a stronger foundation for growth and competitiveness.

Today, just four airlines control more than 80% of the U.S. market.  By combining with Alaska – an airline that, like us, has a strong position on the West Coast, a history of operational excellence, and a guest- and employee-focused culture – we are not only creating the best airline in North America, but one with the size and market share necessary to compete in this consolidated environment.

Nearly nine years ago, we set out to build an airline from the ground up with guests like you in mind. Through this merger with Alaska we can continue to deliver on that brand promise.

The merger will significantly expand flying options across an expanded network of over +125 destinations in North America.

Why now?

The airline industry has changed dramatically in the past few years and just four airlines control more than 80% of the U.S. market – which increased pressure on smaller carriers, even successful ones like ours.

We believe that by joining forces with an airline that, like us, has a strong position on the West Coast, a history of operational excellence, and an employee and guest-focused culture, we will create a stronger and more competitive airline with a larger network and expanded flying options for our guests.

Merging these two strong companies now will allow the combined airline to enjoy a much stronger competitive position and an even better flying experience across a much larger combined network.

What does the merger mean for Elevate members?

In the short-term it will be business as usual and as we go forward we expect that it will be business even better than usual.

The Elevate program will remain fully in effect until the merger is approved by shareholders and regulators, which we expect to take several months.  We will be providing updates and details on program integration as we move closer to completing the transaction.

Following closing of the transaction, Alaska will welcome Virgin America’s more than 4 million Elevate loyalty program members into its Mileage Plan(tm), ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report.  Mileage Plan members can redeem award miles for travel to more than 900 destinations worldwide, rivaling global alliances.  Alaska is committed to ensuring that loyalty members of both airlines will maintain the same high-value rewards they’ve come to enjoy in both programs – with access to an even larger network.

We will be sharing additional details in the months to come, but in the meantime you can find more information about your Elevate benefits, Alaska’s Mileage Plan program, and the combined carriers’ larger network at

Will there be any change to Virgin America’s flight network? 

There will be no immediate changes to our network, destinations or flight schedules.  Post-integration, the combined company will finalize its full route network – but in short, the combined airline will serve a much broader network of more than 125 destinations across North America.

How will I know if am flying on an Alaska or Virgin America aircraft?

There will be no change in the short term – when you book on or via our Contact Center you will be booking a flight on Virgin America’s aircraft.

Once the airlines are combined, the overall company name will be Alaska. However, given the strengths of the Virgin America brand – including its innovative, award-winning product and its loyal following of frequent flyers on the West Coast, Alaska will explore how best to leverage the strength of the brand in the combined company during the integration process.