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Southwest apologizes to Muslim woman kicked off flight

A Southwest Airlines plane is seen in this photo. (Courtesy Southwest Airlines)

March 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Southwest Airlines has apologized to a Muslim woman who was removed from a plane about to depart San Diego.

Irum Abassi, a grad student at San Diego State University, said she was told to leave the plane because a flight attendant considered her suspicious. Abassi was wearing an Islamic head scarf at the time.

The flight attendant reportedly thought she heard Abassi say "It's a go" during a cell phone call. Abassi said that she actually said, "I've got to go," because the plane was about to take off.

"That incident caused great emotional distress, you can imagine," said Abassi. "I can also tell you it was highly inconvenient."

Abassi was questioned by the TSA, then cleared to get on the next flight. Southwest said it is investigating the incident.