Delta Air Lines is disputing a viral video from YouTuber Adam Saleh, who claimed to have been kicked off a flight for speaking Arabic. In a Wednesday video retweeted more than 600,000 times, Saleh said he and a friend were being removed from a Delta flight at London’s Heathrow after speaking Arabic to each other and while on the phone with Saleh’s mother. But some passengers have questioned Saleh’s account of events, telling BuzzFeed News that the YouTubers appeared to have been “instigating” an argument.
In a Wednesday evening statement, Delta also accused the pair of active disruptively. “Upon landing, the crew was debriefed and multiple passenger statements collected,” the airline wrote. “Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting. This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight. While one, according to media reports, is a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his traveling companion, what is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our passengers and employees. It is clear these individuals sought to violate that priority.”
Saleh is known for his YouTube prank videos, among which have included “dramatized” incidents of Islamophobia in New York City, and a recent hoax in which he pretended to sneak onto a plane in a suitcase.