Southwest Airlines, in two separate incidents in the same week, bowed to racist passengers who refused to travel with Muslims in the US.

Two American-Palestinian citizens, 29-year-old Maher Khalil and 28-year-old Anas Ayyad, were stopped from boarding the flight after a passenger approached the gate agent and demanded that the two not be allowed to board. 

Khalil called the police complaining he was being "racially profiled" after the gate agent acceded to the demands of the passenger.

In another incident within the same week, six Muslim travellers were forced to board a different flight as passengers refused to travel with them.

"On Wednesday, Southwest Flight #126 from Chicago (Midway) to Houston (Hobby) was delayed departing the gate after several passengers refused to follow Crew instructions. Reports indicate the situation involved seating arrangements and repeated attempts from those passengers involved to save seats and rearrange other passengers onboard the aircraft. Our crews were unable to resolve the situation without delaying the flight, so we rebooked the customers on a later flight that same day," said Southwest Airlines.

The company in a statement to Gawker said: "Safety is our primary focus, and our Employees are trained to make decisions to ensure that safety, and to safeguard the security of our crews and customers on every flight."

There has been an increase in incidents of Islamophobia since the Paris attacks on 13 November.