June 4, 2015 8:27 AM EDT

A flight attendant who denied a Muslim passenger a can of soda out of fear that she would use it as a weapon will no longer work at United Airlines.

The incident happened Friday, when Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim American chaplain at Northwestern University, said she was told she couldn’t have an unopened can of Diet Coke on the plane because passengers “may use it as a weapon,” the LA Times reports. But then the man sitting next to her received an unopened can of beer.

United released a statement Wednesday apologizing to Ahmad and saying the flight attendant “will no longer serve United customers.” Republic Airways Holdings, which owns Shuttle America, the company that employed the attendant, said it “deeply regrets the poor judgment and lack of sensitivity” of the flight attendant, according to the LA Times.

The encounter spread rapidly on social media Friday after Ahmad published a Facebook post about it.

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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