Mo Hussein: Claims Continental Tossed Him Off Flight and Stranded Him For Speaking a Foreign Language

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

These days, if you're a businessman with a name like Mo Hussein, you're fighting an uphill battle in America. You've probably heard all the jokes you care to.

But that doesn't mean you should be kicked off a plane and stranded 1,500 miles from home simply for speaking a foreign language, and that's what one Mo Hussein is claiming Continental Airlines did to him.

Hussein has filed a lawsuit in district court here against Continental and ExpressJet, saying he had gotten on a May 2009 from Houston to Minneapolis. Trouble soon ensued.

Hussein says he took his seat and was "engaged in making the acquaintance of, and exchanging pleasantries with, other relaxed and cordial passengers seated nearby," which certainly doesn't sound like what we do when getting ready for takeoff, which is sit and quietly curse every asshole trying to jam a gigantic piece of roll-on luggage into the clearly packed overhead bins.

Hussein says a flight attendant asked him to change seats and he did; not long afterward he was asked to switch seats again and when he asked why, "the agent quickly departed and returned moments later with a man in uniform, purportedly the pilot, and another uniformed man identified as the 'terminal manager,'" who asked him to get off the plane.

He got off the plane and was eventually released, but missed the flight and was not offered any alternative accommodation, he says. "The reason offered...was that at some point plaintiff was reportedly overheard speaking to a fellow passenger -- 'in a foreign language,'" the suit says, italics and all.

We've asked Continental for a response; we'll post it if we get one. (Update: They've passed us on to ExpressJet; a spokesperson there is coming up with a response.)

Update: "We are aware of the filing you inquired about, however, we don't comment on open legal matters," ExpressJet's Kate Modolo tells Hair Balls.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.