Scott Horton reminds us of the horrifying incident whereby a Muslim family was kicked off an AirTran flight for the crime of traveling while Muslim. Here is Scott’s article. Below it is a message I just sent to AirTran. remember, that is AirTran: The Bigot’s airline (TM):
None Dare Call it Stupidity
By Scott Horton
CNN reports that a Muslim family is hustled off a plane after some morons misunderstand their conversation. (For the film version of this incident, check out Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,–as usual, the most effective comedy carefully apes reality.) Note that the FBI behaves correctly and the airlines officials make asses out of themselves. This fits the recurrent pattern.
A Muslim family removed from an airliner Thursday after passengers became concerned about their conversation say AirTran officials refused to rebook them, even after FBI investigators cleared them of wrongdoing. Atif Irfan said federal authorities removed eight members of his extended family and a friend after passengers heard them discussing the safest place to sit and misconstrued the nature of the conversation.
Irfan, a U.S. citizen and tax attorney, said he was “impressed with the professionalism” of the FBI agents who questioned him, but said he felt mistreated when the airline refused to book the family for a later flight.
An incident to keep in mind next time you’re booking a flight. Remember the name of that airline: AirTran.
My message to AirTran: The Bigot’s airline (TM):
Sirs, As an American citizen, university professor, and frequent flyer, I am distressed and outraged at your airline’s bigoted actions in kicking off a Muslim family from a flight for no good reason. Even more inexcusable is your refusal to rebook them after they were cleared by the FBI.
I will remember this action when I choose an airline in the future. I will remind my traveling colleagues of your airline’s intolerant and inexcusable policies. And I will do what I can to alert the public.
I hope you will now do the right thing and publicly apologize and compensate this family. But such actions would be meaningless unless you also adopt clear nondiscriminatory policies to make sure such abuses never happen again.
Let AirTran: The Bigot’s airline (TM) know what you think.
UPDATE: the media are reportiong that AirTran: the Bigot’;s Airline “apologized“:
“We regret that the issue escalated to the heightened security level it did,” AirTran said in a statement Friday afternoon. “But we trust everyone understands that the security and the safety of our passengers is paramount.” Read the full statement
They certainly made no acknowledgement that they did anything wrong. The did not discuss their refuisal to rebook the family after they were cleared by the FBI. And they have not a word about policies to prevent a recurrence. I still suggest that you let AirTran: The Bigot’s airline (TM) know what you think.
January 3rd, 2009