Delta denies discriminating against 'known prankster'
| Thursday, 12.22.2016, 03:30 PM

NEW YORK - Delta airlines is denying a claim from a YouTube star alleging he was removed from a flightWednesday for speaking Arabic. 

Adam Saleh, who is notorious for his pranks on YouTube, and a friend were removed from a Delta flight following  "disturbance in the cabin," the airline said in a statement.

A tweet from Saleh alleging Delta employees removed him from the flight for speaking Arabic, gained more than half a million retweets and was met with outrage and skepticism alike. 

Saleh is known for crafting viral incidents.

After conducting an interview into the incident, Delta said Saleh and another traveler were removed over "provocative behavior" that disturbed other customers onboard the flight. 

"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," a statement from Delta said. 

"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," the statement continued.

On Wednesday, Saleh posted several videos on Twitter and Periscope showing him being removed from a Delta flight.

After the incident, Saleh said on Twitter that after being "checked" for 30 minutes, he boarded another plane, and that he and his friend are "heading to our lawyer once in NYC."

Passengers on the flight are disputing his claims as well.

Anthony Ellis, a passenger on the flight, told the Washington Post that he was seated a row in front of Saleh and his friend Slim Albaher, and heard them shouting while one of them was filming people’s reactions.

“He was never any part on the phone — I would have heard the whole conversation,” Ellis said, adding that he speaks Arabic. “If someone’s being racist, I would stand up right away. In this day in age, you defend each other. It wasn’t like that. I mean, this guy was trying to antagonize people. I think because they made it into such a big scenario, [Saleh] then kind of panicked a little bit.”

Another passenger on the flight took to social media to dispute Saleh’s claims, posting a picture of his boarding pass as proof.“The YouTube guy was trying to get his friend to shout something in Arabic which he did a total of 4 times,” he posted, adding that neither Saleh nor Albaher was on a phone call. “A couple of passengers after the second time said they were making themselves and their young children uncomfortable and could they shut up.”

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