Hayward Woman Suspected of Human Trafficking Accuses American Airlines of Racial Profiling - NBC Bay Area
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Hayward Woman Suspected of Human Trafficking Accuses American Airlines of Racial Profiling

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    Hayward Woman Accuses American Airlines of Racial Profiling

    A routine flight home turned into painful allegations of human trafficking for a Bay Area woman last year. She is now asking American Airlines to apologize for ruining her flight. Scott Budman reports.

    (Published Thursday, March 28, 2019)

    A routine flight home turned into painful allegations of human trafficking for a Bay Area woman last year. She is now asking American Airlines to apologize for ruining her flight.

    The Hayward woman said she was racially profiled, while the flight attendants counter by saying they were doing their jobs.

    The incident started at Los Angeles International Airport, where Mina Khorasani boarded a flight to Sacramento with her niece and two cousins.

    "Shortly after that, I see that they take my younger cousin to the front of the plane," Khorasani said.

    Khorasani, who had taken her relatives to Universal Studios, went to follow and said an American Airlines agent blocked her in the aisle "and doesn't let me go."

    But American Airlines said flight attendants were worried about the girls' welfare because she was sick and appeared to be in distress. The airline contends Khorasani was violent with the flight attendants who were trying to help out.

    Khorasani and her relatives were escorted off the plane and were told American Airlines had called police. When she asked responding officers why they had been called, police said "they're accusing you of human trafficking because you don't look like your family."

    Khorasani's attorney said police intervened and quickly determined they were all related, and reunited the family. She is now asking American Airlines for an apology.

    "The response was basically 'human trafficking is an important concern, and we train our staff and they followed procedures,'" Khorasani said.

    American Airlines eventually re-booked Khorasani and her family on another flight, and comped their hotel room. But months later, Khorasani said she is still shaken by what happened and has filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation.

    "I just thought it was very bizarre," Khorasani said. "I think they definitely racially profiled me."

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