Bristol

National Express workers 'upset' over Islamophobic allegation

National Express coach Image copyright National Express
Image caption National Express said a number of customers complained about the passenger's excess luggage

A coach firm has spoken out over an allegation it ejected a passenger from a coach due to his religious beliefs.

National Express was reported by the Bristol Post to have thrown a Muslim man off a bus last week when another passenger said they felt uncomfortable.

The firm denied the report and has used Twitter to reply to more than 450 people saying the man refused to stow excess luggage and then became abusive.

It said its staff were "extremely upset" at these "untrue allegations".

'Ridiculous'

The incident happened on 3 December on a National Express coach travelling from Bristol to London.

The Bristol newspaper quoted two other passengers, including a university student who said the complaint was "clearly made because of the man's religion".

Nick MacDonald, another passenger on the coach, told BBC Radio Bristol the man had a lot of bags which drew a complaint from a woman who implied he was suspicious.

He said the driver asked the woman to go to the office if she had a complaint, which she did, and another National Express member of staff came to the bus and asked the man to leave.

"The man left relatively quietly but understandably used an expletive about it being ridiculous," Mr MacDonald added.

"Everyone on the bus was staring, and people were questioning did it really happen. It was obvious that it was down to the way he looked."

According to National Express, the customer boarded with excess luggage which became an issue for "a number of other passengers who complained".

The customer involved was unhappy to put the extra items in the hold and became abusive towards staff who were attempting to resolve the issue, the firm said on its website.

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