Elgin Banks and four other passengers filed a lawsuit against American Airlines, accusing them of racial discrimination, following his removal from a flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix on 31 May. Banks, who is black, alleges he politely asked to change his seat to one closer to the front of the aircraft but was told by a flight attendant that he would be able to change seats after boarding was complete but, when he requested to change seat at that point, another flight attendant told him to step back and called security to have him removed. Other passengers protested against Banks’ removal and were, according to Banks, also subsequently removed and banned from the airline. American Airlines state that Banks and the other passengers’ version of the incident is not accurate and that Banks attempted to relocate to a first-class seat and that, whilst all of the passengers had to deplane because of the incident, no other passengers were banned from the airline.
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