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Dallas attorney denied boarding Virgin America flight in New York

Virgin America apologized to Dallas attorney Bobby Abtahi after he was denied boarding a flight from New York to Dallas on Monday.
Virgin America apologized to Dallas attorney Bobby Abtahi after he was denied boarding a flight from New York to Dallas on Monday. Star-Telegram

Dallas attorney Bobby Abtahi was denied boarding a Virgin America flight from New York’s LaGuardia airport to Dallas Love Field on Monday because he made the flight crew uncomfortable.

Abtahi, who is also vice chair of Dallas Plan Commission, tweeted about the incident saying he wasn’t allowed on the flight since the flight crew didn’t “feel comfortable” with him on the aircraft. An Iranian-American, Abtahi said in a series of tweets that he apparently cut off a crew member while entering the airport.

Abtahi said he was in a revolving door entering the airport and a lady was in the same revolving door section. She was a flight attendant and Abtahi said both of them fumbled to get in the revolving door.

Virgin America said the denied boarding was “the result of a misunderstanding” and apologized to Abtahi and offered to refund his airfare.

“After further review, we believe this was the result of a misunderstanding and we're reaching out to apologize to Mr. Abtahi this afternoon for his experience today,” the San Francisco-based carrier said in a statement. “As an airline that prides itself on our award-winning guest service, we take issues like this very seriously. We are sorry Mr. Abtahi had this experience today, as it was not representative of the guest service for which we are known.”

The carrier also offered Abtahi two free flights which Abtahi asked to have donated to Human Rights Initiative, a Dallas nonprofit that provides legal services to refugees and immigrants who have been victims of violence and human rights abuses.

Abtahi did make it back to Dallas on an American Airlines flight. The Fort Worth-based carrier welcomed Abtahi on to their flight.

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