Four Asian men thrown off an American Airlines flight from Canada to the US as their appearance allegedly made the pilot "uneasy" are seeking damages to the tune of $9m (£6.4m).

The men, all US citizens from New York, were asked to leave the Toronto to New York flight in December 2015, according to a lawsuit filed on 18 January at Brooklyn Federal Court.

Three of the men, all in their twenties, who were asked to leave the American Airlines flight were Muslim, while one was Sikh, CNN reported.

It is believed that two of the men had changed their flight to travel with their friends, while the other two paid for upgrades at the last minute.

However, the group were removed from the flight before the plane took off, with one of the men reportedly believing there was an emergency evacuation taking place, before he realised other passengers had not been asked to leave the plane.

The men claim they were given no reason for their ejection from the flight until they reached the terminal, when the lawsuit claims an airline agent told the men the crew and captain had felt uneasy about their presence on board, acknowledging that their appearance "did not help".

Two other men, one of whom was Hispanic and one from Pakistan, who were travelling with the group but were sat separately on the flight had not been asked to leave the plane and were allowed to travel.

The four men who were removed from the plane were allowed to travel on the next flight.

They are seeking $1m in compensatory damages each and $5m in punitive damages from American Airlines for discrimination, and are also believed to be suing flight operators Republic Airlines and American Eagle, NY Daily News claimed.

American Airlines had not responded to IBTimes UK request for a comment at the time of going to press.