American Airlines sued for racial discrimination

National

CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 29: A new American Airlines 737-800 aircraft featuring a new paint job with the company’s new logo sits at a gate at O’Hare Airport on January 29, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Five passengers are suing American Airlines for racial discrimination.

The suit stems from a May 31 incident where a Black passenger asked if he could change seats.

Elgin Banks said he wanted to space himself out from other passengers.

The suit said a flight attendant told him to wait until boarding was completed.

Banks claims after everyone was on board, he asked if he could move closer to the front, which he said white passengers were already doing.

The flight attendant called security to have him removed from the plane, after telling him to sit down and lower his voice.

Three other African American passengers and one white woman were also kicked off after objecting to his removal and are also plaintiffs in the case.

Other passengers said Banks never raised his voice.

American Airlines claims Banks was asking to move to first class and was not eligible for an upgrade.

Banks said he was only asking to move closer to the front — not to first class.

The airline ended up canceling the entire flight.

CNN Newsource contributed to this article.

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