Pictured: The two pizza shop owners who were stopped from boarding flight because other passengers complained they were speaking Arabic
- Maher Khalil and Anas Ayyad delayed Wednesday at boarding in Chicago
- Khalil, 28, and Ayyad, 29, spoke in Arabic before flight to Philadelphia
- Gate agent said not to board because passenger was afraid to fly with them
- They called 911 to get help from police and were later allowed to board
- On Sunday, a Southwest flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles diverted to Kansas City International airport because passengers were being 'unruly'
- Three passengers were detained then rebooked and no charges were filed
- A third recent Southwest flight also was delayed because passengers refused to allow six Muslims on a plane from Chicago to Houston
Two Palestinian men were left feeling humiliated and upset earlier this week after they were briefly stopped from boarding a flight from Chicago when another traveler overheard them speak Arabic.
Pizza shop owner Maher Khalil and his friend Anas Ayyad were stopped while attempting to board a Southwest Airlines flight to Philadelphia at Chicago's Midway International Airport on Wednesday.
Less than a week later on Sunday, a Southwest flight headed from Indianapolis to Los Angeles was diverted to Kansas City International airport because several passengers were being 'unruly.'
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Pizza shop owner Maher Khalil (right) and his friend Anas Ayyad (left) were stopped from boarding a flight
Another traveler overheard them (seen before Southwest Airlines flight) speaking Arabic and reported it
FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said three people were detained for questioning after Flight 5929 landed around 8am and the other travelers were removed so police dogs could search the aircraft.
Passengers then re-boarded and the flight resumed around 9.20am on Sunday.
Patton said the detained passengers were rebooked on later flights and no charges were filed.
She said the flight crew had described their behavior as 'unruly' and that she couldn't provide additional details about what the passengers were doing.
During the Wednesday incident, Khalil, who emigrated from Palestine 15 years ago and said he had never experienced discrimination before, said he was chatting with Ayyad while waiting to board.
Before they could get on the flight, a gate agent told them they couldn't board because a passenger was afraid to fly with them after overhearing them speaking Arabic, NBC Philadelphia reported.
Gate agents (pictured) discussed what to do and delayed the Wednesday flight from Chicago to Philadelphia
Another Southwest flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles was diverted to Kansas City on Sunday (stock)
Khalil, who owns the Pizza Point restaurant in Philadelphia, told the agent: 'If that person doesn't feel safe, let them take the bus.
'We're American citizens just like everybody else.'
Khalil, 29 and Ayyad, 28, called 911 to get police to help, but when they arrived, some passengers assumed it was because the officers were responding to a terrorist threat.
The two men were later allowed to board.
As Khalil walked to his seat at the back of the plane, some were suspicious of a white box he was carrying and asked to see what was inside, he said.
Khalil owns the Pizza Point (seen) restaurant in Philadelphia. He moved to the US from Palestine 15 years ago
Khalil said: 'Everybody in America is from different countries. I'm one of them. I'm an American citizen'
To ease the tension, Khalil opened it and shared the baklava he'd bought with a few passengers.
Khalil explained on Friday: 'We came to America to have a better life.
'Everybody in America is from different countries. I'm one of them. I'm an American citizen.'
'I swear, I never had that feeling before.
'I felt like we're not safe no more in this country. Because I'm Arab, I cannot ride the airplane?
'The person who complained is the one who should be kicked out, not me.'
A third recent Southwest flight also was delayed because passengers refused to allow six Muslims on a plane from Chicago to Houston.
Khalil, 29 and Ayyad, 28, only got allowed on the Southwest plane after they called 911 to get help from police
The Muslim passengers had to be rebooked on another plane when Southwest Flight 126 was delayed because they were not allowed to board, according to Gawker.
The airline said in a statement: 'On Wednesday, Southwest Flight #126 from Chicago (Midway) to Houston (Hobby) was delayed departing the gate after several passengers refused to follow Crew instructions.
'Reports indicate that the situation involved seating arrangements and repeated attempts from those passengers involved to save seats and rearrange other passengers onboard the aircraft.
'Our crews were unable to resolve the situation without delaying the flight so we rebooked the customers on a later flight that same day.'
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