Jewish students kicked off flight said they were treated like 'terrorists'
One hundred Jewish students were removed from an AirTran plane in New York for refusing to turn their mobile phones off before their flight to Atlanta, Georgia.
The students and their eight guardians were kicked off the flight on Monday and have claimed that the airline targeted them for being Jewish.
According to CNN, AirTran, which is owned by Southwest Airlines, said the group of "non-compliant passengers" would not remain in their seats and some were using mobile devices after they were asked not to.
Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins said the flight crew, including the captain, asked them to comply with the requests but when they failed, they were asked to leave the plane.
Student Jonathan Zehavi said the group was targeted because of their religion.
He told CNN: "They treated us like we were terrorists; I've never seen anything like it. I'm not someone to make these kinds of statements. I think if it was a group of non-religious kids, the air stewardess wouldn't have dared to kick them off."
According to NBC New York, some students posted pictured of their journey on social media sites and said it was a "scandal" how they were treated.
Business passenger Brad Rinschler, who witnessed the incident, told CNN about 10 of the students were "laughing" at the flight attendants "and ignoring them".
"The pilot warned them. They did not comply. They thought it was a joke. You know, it wasn't a joke," he added.
The New York Times reports that Rabbi Seth Linfield, director of Yeshivah of Flatbush, the school that the students attend, said the school had opened its own investigation.
"Preliminarily, it does not appear that the action taken by the flight crew was justified," he said.
The students were on a trip to the Six Flags theme park, which recently opened the world's highest swing ride.
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