British boxer Amir Khan has said he was escorted from a flight in the US by police “for no reason” in a video posted online.
The 34-year-old claimed he had been “banned” by American Airlines while trying to fly to a training camp in Colorado from New York.
Khan said he and a colleague were removed when someone complained his colleague’s mask “was not high enough”.
In a video posted on Twitter, the boxer said he was “disgusted” at his alleged treatment.
“I was taken off the plane today when I was going to training camp to Colorado Springs by the police,” the sportsman said.
“Obviously a complaint was made by American Airlines staff, they said that my colleague’s mask was not high enough and not up, that they had to stop the plane and take me and my friend off when I did nothing wrong.
“They kicked us both off, I was sat on 1A, he was sat on 1B – I find it so disgusting and so disrespectful, I was supposed to go to Colorado springs for a training camp and now I’m back in New York for another day.”
He continued: “Now I have to reschedule another airplane to travel back to training camp which is really upsetting, for no reason this was and I’m just so disgusted that American Airlines would do this to us and ban me from travelling.
“I’m sure there must be cameras on the airplane that they could see, or someone should see, to see that if my colleague really was bad in anyway or caused a scene in a way where he had to be taken off the plane – I’ve never seen this happen before.”
In a statement American Airlines told ITV News: “Prior to takeoff, American Airlines Flight 700, with service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), returned to the gate to deplane two customers who reportedly refused to comply with repeated crew member requests to stow luggage, place cell phones in airplane mode and adhere to federal face covering requirements.
“Our Customer Relations team is reaching out to Mr. Khan to learn more about his experience and reinforce the importance of policies implemented for the safety of our customers and crew.”
The airline added that police did not intervene but were present when the aircraft returned to the gate, as is protocol. It added that neither Khan not his colleague has been banned.
Mr Khan and his colleague have not been placed on our internal refuse list or banned from future travel on American Airlines or our oneworld partners
Khan stills holds the accolade of being Britain’s youngest Olympic Boxing Medalist. He is also one of the youngest ever British professional world champions, having won the WBA title at the age of 22.
In 2017, he appeared in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.