Boxer Aamir Khan has complained that he was taken off the flight after a dispute over a Kovid face mask.
The 34-year-old former world champion was traveling from New York to Colorado Springs to begin his training camp before his next fight.
Khan posted a video on Twitter that he was told that his friend’s face was not pulled high enough that the two were removed from the plane by the police.
He said: “I was taken off the plane today while I was on my way to training camp in Colorado Springs by the police.
“A complaint was made by American Airlines employees, they said that my colleague’s mask was not high enough and not up, that they had to stop the plane and take off my friend and I when I did nothing wrong.
“He kicked us both. I was sitting at 1A and he was sitting at 1B. I find it disgusting and disrespectful.
“I was supposed to go to Colorado Springs for a training camp and now I’m back in New York for another day and I have to reschedule another plane to go back to training camp.
“It’s really upsetting; there was no reason and I’m very disappointed that American Airlines would do this and ban me from traveling.
“There should be cameras they can see if I or my colleagues were in any way spoiled or caused. A scene in any way.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m heartbroken.”
Khan, who is expected to face British rival Kel Brook in his final fight, has not fought for more than two years after defeating Billy Dibb in Saudi Arabia.
The boxer had considered retiring, but is finally set to settle his rivalry with fellow welterweight Brooke, who is nearing the end of his career.
Brook, 35, has fought only twice in the last three years, losing his last match to undefeated champion Terrence Crawford.
After Brooke’s bitter split with promoter Eddie Hearn last year, Khan met with the matchroom boss Tuesday in an attempt to do business.
An American Airlines spokesperson said: “Prior to takeoff, American Airlines Flight 700, serving Dallas-Fort Worth from Newark Liberty International Airport, returned to the gate to unload two customers who had reportedly been carrying baggage. Repeatedly refused to comply with crew member requests to, put the cell phone in airplane mode and comply with federal face covering requirements.
“Our customer relations team is reaching out to Mr. Khan to learn more about his experience and to reinforce the importance of implementing policies to protect our customers and crew.”