A black man is calling out United Airlines for racial bias after he says a white woman was offered a $1,000 voucher to remove her feet from the tray table.
The airline, however, says it was all a misunderstanding.
Frederick Joseph was traveling from Austin, Texas to Newark, New Jersey when the passenger next to him took off her shoes and placed her feet on the tray table. Upset by the situation, Joseph snapped a photo of the passenger’s foot on the table in the window seat and tweeted about the experience.
Joseph claims he asked the woman to remove her feet because they were near his food and he was trying to eat, but the woman reportedly refused. “She says ‘what do you want me to do, the seats are small,’” Joseph wrote in a tweet.
“So I’m like ‘I understand, which is why there is room for your feet and legs under the seat in front of you,’” he continued. “So she says ‘this is why I fly first class, and I don’t come back here with everyone else.’”
Joseph goes on to explain that the woman then called over a flight attendant and said Joseph was “disrupting her flight” and she was “just trying to be comfortable.” When the flight attendant asked the woman to take at least one of her feet down, Joseph claims the woman asked to be compensated for her troubles and requested a $1,000 voucher the airline had been offering to those forced to take a later flight.
According to Joseph, the flight attendant agreed to provide the passenger with a voucher, but when he asked about receiving one as well, she replied: “Sir, we can only make but so many accommodations, and she has agreed to move her feet for you.”
After later speaking with the airline, Joseph said the customer service rep assured him the woman received no such compensation. Regardless, he explained he didn’t feel as though he was treated with the same respect as the white woman, calling the woman’s actions “the audacity of white privilege.”
Joseph ended his thread of tweets by saying he has his opinion and the airline and other passengers have theirs, and he is “moving on from the situation.”
In a statement to Fox News, United denied Joseph’s accusations, saying: “At no point was any customer offered compensation for this issue, and we’ve talked with our customer to clarify this with him, and address his concerns. We want all of our customers to be treated with respect, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”