Los Angeles: In a shocking incident, two Muslim women were escorted off of a plane by police after a cabin crew member accused them of "staring" at her.
The pair had flown from Boston to Los Angeles in the US but were singled out after the JetBlue passenger plane landed.
Passengers said they had heard a member of cabin crew tell a coworker that she "did not appreciate" being stared at by the women.
"The flight attendant had casually relayed to a coworker that she did not appreciate being stared at - she did not seem rattled or scared - just smug," said Sharon Kessler, who was on board the flight.
"Then - after we landed - she announced that the authorities would be boarding the plane and to remain in our seats with seat belts," said Kessler.
A video of the incident was also posted on YouTube.
"It was a terrible moment - honestly - these women sat quietly, watched movies - it felt like overkill from this flight attendant," Kessler wrote on her Facebook page.
In a statement, JetBlue said the flight attendant had been under the impression one of the women had been filming in-flight procedures.
"If a crew member believes a customer may be filming safety procedures, the crew member may report it for further review. In this instance, our crewmembers acted in accordance with security procedures. We appreciate our customers' patience and cooperation, and apologise for the inconvenience," the airline said.
“More than 35 million customers from many cultures and backgrounds travel on JetBlue without incident each year. Our crewmembers’ first priority is the safe and secure operation of our flights, and as a security precaution, are asked to be aware of anyone who may be filming or taking photographs of in-flight procedures or the flight deck area,” it added.
It is reported that the women were questioned by police, but released shortly thereafter.
With PTI Inputs