Aman is suing American Airlines for $25 million, saying that a flight attendant forced him off a trip last year because he and his daughter were speaking Russian.
American Airlines, according to Boris Abayez of New York, discriminated against him and his family based on his genealogy, country of origin, and ethnicity.
The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York earlier this week, alleging that American Airlines broke federal anti-bias statutes by allowing one of its flight attendants to treat the Bayez family unfairly.
Boris, who is originally from Tajikistan, was supposed to fly with his wife and two daughters on American Airlines on January 2, 2021, but was forced off the plane before takeoff due to a face mask compliance issue.
Boris believes that one of the flight attendants on the flight purposefully targeted him and his family because he overheard them speaking Russian. The Abayez’s had been visiting family in Phoenix and were scheduled to fly back to New York.
Boris claims he went to take his diabetes medication when the flight attendants were doing their final cabin check before takeoff, which drew the attention of one of the crew members.
“A male flight attendant saw that I was about to drink my water and he immediately started yelling at me to put my mask back on,” Boris says in the lawsuit. “I told him nicely that I needed to take my pills and would pull my mask up immediately after taking such pills. However, the flight attendant did not care.”
“Instead, he started screaming and yelling at me and began clapping his hands in my face, saying that I am off the flight. While he was clapping his hands in my face, he hit my hand, which caused my pills to be knocked out of my hand.”
Boris claims he was removed from the plane when it returned to the gate.
One of his daughters began to wail and passed out at this moment. The flight attendant, on the other hand, apparently showed no sympathy and told her that if she “did not stop her mouth,” she, too, would be taken from the plane.
Boris’ wife and two girls were eventually allowed to go, but he was placed on the airline’s ‘blacklist.’
“It is clear to me that the flight attendant treated me so abusively because he heard me speaking Russian and wished to inflict harm upon me due to my ancestry, ethnicity, and place of origin,” he complains.
According to the lawsuit, the flight attendant “wrongly and disturbingly assumed” that they were aliens and “un-Americans.”
Boris is seeking $15 million in compensatory damages, $5 million in actual losses, and $5 million in punitive damages for being humiliated. The same claim is being made by his daughter, who claims she was terrified after being instructed to “shut up” by the flight attendant.
In a statement, a spokesperson for American Airlines told us: “American is reviewing the details of the lawsuit.”
“The safety and comfort of our customers are our highest priorities and we’re committed to providing a positive, welcoming experience for everyone who travels with us.”