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Dentist kicked off flight amid tourism ‘Trump slump’

March 1, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Amid speculation that President Donald Trump’s high-profile stance on immigration is hurting tourism to the US, a Hollywood dentist has been kicked off a US domestic flight for making an anti-Trump comment.

Celebrity dentist Shawn Sadri, a 35-year-old immigrant of Iranian descent who practices in Los Angeles and New York, was returning from Hollywood after performing cosmetic dental work for his Oscar-bound clients, the New York Daily News reported.

Sadri said he found himself seated on his American Airlines flight next to a young boy, about six or seven years old, who was nervous and crying before takeoff.

Sadri asked the boy, who was obviously distressed, if he was OK and whether he was travelling alone. The boy, apparently of Latino heritage, didn’t speak a word of English and suddenly ran down the aisle screaming.

When a flight attendant came over to see what the fuss was about, Sadri joked: “Maybe Trump is trying to deport him.”

US President Donald Trump

The attendant was not amused and told Sadri, “Don’t say that.” A quick Trump discussion ensued, after which Sadri was reportedly asked to leave the plane. He caught another flight later.

Meanwhile, suggestions persist that bad publicity generated by Trump’s travel ban (and the current legal tussle surrounding it) is damaging tourism to the US. The airfare prediction app Hopper found that flight search demand from 122 countries to the US plunged by 17% after implementation of the travel ban, compared with the first three weeks in January, according to the New York Times.

Two recent instances of adverse publicity, one involving an Australian:

  • Australian children’s author Mem Fox, author of Possum Magic, said she “sobbed like a baby” when detained by US border control and aggressively questioned over her visa status.

Fox, who has written over 30 children’s books and visited the US 116 times without any prior problem, was heading to a conference in Milwaukee. Border agents detained her for an hour and 40 minutes and questioned her for 15 minutes in front of a room full of people, she told ABC News in Australia.

“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox said.

“I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby, and I’m 70 years old.”

  • Muhammad Ali Jr., son of the late great American boxing legend, is reportedly considering legal action after being detained at a Florida airport and questioned about his religion, the family’s lawyer told the Los Angeles Times.

According to the lawyer, border agents pulled the 44-year-old Ali aside for questioning as he and his mother returned from a trip to Jamaica. Ali was questioned for an hour and 45 minutes, with agents repeatedly asking him: “Where were you born?” “Are you a Muslim?” and “Where did you get your name from?”

Written by Peter Needham

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