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Overzealous AirTran Boots 9 Passengers Off

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the fear-mongering-works dept.

1002

An anonymous readerwrites "On Friday the wonderfully customer centric AirTran decided to remove a family of 9 US born Muslims after a comment between two family members regarding how close to the Jet engine they had been seated. The wonderful part is that after the FBI cleared the family 2 hours later, AirTran refused to fly the family, and refused to rebook them on their way from Washington to Orlando, Florida. The family purchased additional tickets on US Airways later that day, after AirTran requested that the irate father be escorted from their booking podiums by security. This whole story highlights the pathetic customer service we are getting from the Airlines these days — they actually treat us like criminals first and ask questions later. Just don't get me started on Delta." It's nice to see that stupidity still knows no bounds.

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Open your mouth about security in an airport (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305399)

And you deserved to be kicked off the plane. It's common sense and probably the only reason that this got reported and the ten thousand other incidents didn't is because they were muslim.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305413)

The only reason not wanting to fly next to the engine is a "security issue" is BECAUSE they were Muslim. If anyone else brought it up, the attendant would have sold them earplugs for $5.

Tip to arabs: don't wear towel on head in airport (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305935)

This is not a dig, just a friendly tip.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305463)

It just shows how much of what we go through is security theater. If they were really secure harmless comments about the engines or even bombs wouldn't matter as you couldn't get one on anyway. It's like signs at malls saying "no guns". Like some nutjob is going to see that and decide not to go kill a bunch of people. Real terrorists aren't going to make jokes.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (1, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305599)

It's like signs at malls saying "no guns". Like some nutjob is going to see that and decide not to go kill a bunch of people. Real terrorists aren't going to make jokes.

Those signs reduce safety. They are basically "massacre zone" signs, where someone who wants to kill people is pretty sure of getting the fewest number of people legally carrying guns.

I wish that if a business that was open to the public wanted to post those signs, they would have to have a certain number of armed guards per square feet at all times during normal business hours. Basically, have people provide their own security, or don't allow that and pay for it.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (5, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305817)

Not always. In many cities, it is illegal to carry firearms into certain places by city ordinance even if you would otherwise be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Typically these are places such as hospitals, schools and bars.

On a more on-topic note, I think AirTran deserves a hefty lawsuit. This was very clear cut racism. There was no indication any one of the 9 persons were a threat to anyone. Just a refund doesn't seem to fully compensate them for the harm done.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305605)

It's like signs at malls saying "no guns". Like some nutjob is going to see that and decide not to go kill a bunch of people.

In a place like the USA or Afghanistan where people do tend to carry guns, signs like that make it easier to distinguish between gun carriers who are not going to cause trouble and those who are.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305671)

How so? Most registered gun carriers I know completely ignore those signs that say 'no guns'. These are law-abiding citizens.

As opposed to... say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305689)

No knife signs in Britain...

Coz' that really cuts down on the knife crime.

Re:As opposed to... say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305823)

Maybe they should try selling guns. I bet that'll do wonders for the knife crime rate.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (1)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305471)

They weren't talking about security, they were talking about general safety. Wouldn't you like to know where the safest place to be sitting on a plane in event of a crash purely mechanical in origin?

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305743)

How do you know? Because they said they were?

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305503)

You're totally he right.

I mean, he DID say, "Look at how close to the engine we are, isn't that convenient?"

"Now no one will hear the explosion over the sound of the engine!"

The idea alone that you can remove from a plane for making conversation about a plane. There where even two air marshals on the plane - if it was that big of a concern, i'm sure the marshalls could have handled it.

In any case, what's it like being an idiot? They didn't shout about how convienient it is that they where so close to the engine - it was a discussion about "if the plane crashes, would we be better or worse off near the engine?"

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305641)

About a year ago I read about a flight which had to be abandoned because a passenger found the word Bomb written on one of the safety instruction sheets inside the aircraft. I think pretty much any conversation could be misconstrued in that way.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305511)

All they did was wonder aloud what the safest place to sit on an airplane would be. Some racist idiot thought they heard "I wonder what the safest place to sit on an airplane is when there's a bomb onboard" which is patently ridiculous, as there is obviously no safe place to sit in that situation. They were not discussing security, they just happened to sit next to an engine and wondered about the safety of that.

Re:Open your mouth about security in an airport (-1, Flamebait)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305913)

And you're a dumb cunt. What's your day job, Israeli foreign affairs minister? Or just regular US fuckwit college fodder?

They got a refund (5, Informative)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305409)

Apparently, they have now received a refund:

Linky [yahoo.com]

Re:They got a refund (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305603)

Refund has nothing to do with it. It was racism and racial profiling that got them kicked off the plane, interviewed by the FBI, their trip delayed, etc. The financial loss of the original plane tickets is nothing compared to the trauma they have had to deal with mentally.

Let's be real honest with each other here. I mean everybody.

1) A white family of nine people get on a plane. They are dressed in contemporary clothing. Three of the young adults make a remark about where would be the safest place to sit on the plane in the event of an accident or explosion.

2) A brown family of nine people get on a plane. They are dressed in traditional clothing of Islamic people. Three of the young adults make a remark about where would be the safest place to sit on the plane in the event of an accident or explosion.

Hell why not:

3) A Chinese family of nine people get on the plane. They are dressed in clothing straight out of 1920's Shanghai. Three of the young adults in thick Chinese accents remark about where would be the safest place to sit on the plane in the event of an accident or explosion.

The reason why other people felt uncomfortable on the plane had everything to do with the appearance of this family. Those preconceptions and stereotypes led them to interpret those remarks differently then they would have with #1 or #3.

It was racism. Period.

Re:They got a refund (-1, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305761)

> They are dressed in traditional clothing of Islamic people.

If you choose to paint a big fat "kick me" sign on yourself
by sticking out the most you possibly can then well you
shouldn't be surprised if someone eventually kicks you.

I have managed this myself while being "white and nerdy".

This isn't racism. If it were racism then it would be some
Pakistani IT geek with a passion for conspicuous consumption
that got singled out.

ANY "family of nine" is going to seem damn peculiar on an
airline flight. It doesn't matter if it's the Brady Bunch.

Re:They got a refund (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305821)

I think your racist.

If you choose to paint a big fat "kick me" sign on yourself
by sticking out the most you possibly can then well you
shouldn't be surprised if someone eventually kicks you.

I think you just equated traditional Islamic clothing with a "big fat kick me" sign on your back.

ANY "family of nine" is going to seem damn peculiar on an
airline flight. It doesn't matter if it's the Brady Bunch.

So the Brady Bunch behaving the exact same way would have been kicked off the plane, interviewed by the FBI, and denied passage later on?

I don't think so. It was racism.

Re:They got a refund (-1, Flamebait)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305765)

When was the last time a white anglo saxon christian tried to commandeer and/or blow up an airplane in America?

Re:They got a refund (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305869)

Nikola Kavaja, 1979. [wikipedia.org] . Well, first time, anyhow.

Re:They got a refund (4, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305875)

Not sure. Then again, I remember the last several times a white anglo-saxon christian tried to attack the US government by terrorism, be it by the use of anthrax, or by blowing up Federal buildings, but hey, you say profiling works, cause those damn non-whites are a higher risk. :D

Re:They got a refund (3, Insightful)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305881)

Yeah! WASPs prefer Ryder trucks full of ammonium nitrate.

Re:They got a refund (4, Interesting)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305897)

Statistically a larger proportion of crime is committed by people with coloured skin, should we treat all such people therefore as criminals?

Its the same damn thing.

(and BTW, my answer to the above is 'of course not you idiots' as such statistics mean nothing in relation to intent to commit any crime).

There is NO excuse for the treatment of these people, what started out as a mistake on the part of airline security was then made many times worse as those same idiots dug in their heals rather than just admit they were wrong.

Re:They got a refund (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305919)

Jan 25, 2008.

Re:They got a refund (5, Insightful)

Roberticus (1237374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305931)

When was the last time a white anglo saxon christian tried to commandeer and/or blow up an airplane in America?

Great point. Those guys prefer to blow up government buildings [wikipedia.org] .

Re:They got a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305775)

number of planes hijacked by people of middle eastern appearence compared to number of planes hijacked by other ethnic groups? yes it was wrong but i'm betting you aren't being told the whole story, i reckon chain of events goes something like this: - members of family makes silly joke about plane crashing, hostie hears it and asks them what they said, she gets typical attitude from family, now she's REALLY has to know what they said (because maybe they are up to something) and they get more vocal and she has no choice but to call security and have them removed. they then proceed to abuse staff and dig their hole deeper (seen it many many times before for from people of all walks of life)

situations like this are usually easily defused if your curtious.

Re:They got a refund (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305787)

This posting should, verbatim, be reproduced. Post it, reference it, make it heard.

Because it's true, and it's HORRIBLE.

Re:They got a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305791)

With point 2, it wasn't that they were brown, it was the Islamic dress part.

Unfortunately for most normal law abiding Muslims, Muslims have a real bad rap right now. Everywhere you look, some whacked out group of Muslims are either A) Trying to kill people or B) Are actually celebrating the killing of some people.

I mean, there's a reason why you don't wear a deer costume and run around on all fours when you go hunting. A hunter wouldn't shoot you on purposes, but if he can't tell the difference, you are the one taking a chance.

Re:They got a refund (5, Funny)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305827)

3) A Chinese family of nine people get on the plane. They are dressed in clothing straight out of 1920's Shanghai. Three of the young adults in thick Chinese accents remark about where would be the safest place to sit on the plane in the event of an accident or explosion.

I'd be afraid they'd stop the plane, run around it, then get back in.

Yep, so what? (-1, Troll)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305831)

Stop wearing the god-damn stupid burkas and shit like that. Fuck all this "accommodation". I'm tired of being told we have to accommodate every bass-ackwards cultural bull-shit in the U.S. Fuck Muslims! Fuck Muhamed! Get the Fuck out of my country that my ancestors fought and died for. My ancestors worked their lives away in Coal Mines to build this country. Fuck all these Johnny-come-latelies. Get the Fuck out of my country!

Re:They got a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305907)

To bad that racism is in its current form because of the actions of that "race". People need to stop being so damn retarded. Does it suck for you if you belong to that 'race"? yes. Im white so i hate blacks and i make lots of money and have an easy life! Oh wait no I dont.

Re:They got a refund (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305937)

This event is exactly what you could expect when you go around telling people, "If you see something, say something."

Is this racism? Yes. However, bear in mind that you are asking EVERYONE to go out and look for suspicious activity - even people who are completely unprepared to identify it.

Anyway, the airline has since apologized and offered to fly them back home for free, and frankly I think that the whole thing got blown out of proportion. Hell, even the family admitted that the FBI was very professional - their beef was with the girls that reported them and the stupid airline, which apparently has some really bad decision makers on the ground.

Re:They got a refund (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305943)

Maybe I should have added a /sarcasm tag

Re:They got a refund (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305951)

On a good note the FBI even tried to get them back on the plane when they found out it was just silliness.
A combination of a few silly passengers, dumb rent a cops, and a REALLY STUPID AIRLINE.

Re:They got a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305695)

They may have been harassed, slandered, and detained, but at least the airline didn't steal their money.

Yes, that makes everything better.

They should've beheaded them! (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305841)

That's what they'd do!

US born (5, Insightful)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305411)

I'm glad the summary specifies that they were born in the US. Because otherwise it would be okay to treat them like dirt, right?

Re:US born (1)

Sir_Dill (218371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305507)

I think that's exactly the point. We aren't even talking about a reasonable confusion with stereotypical extremist types. McCarthy is alive and well thankyouverymuch.

Not that it would be okay otherwise.

Re:US born (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305523)

Please. Everyone who reads it will say "And they where AMERICAN, too! My god, that country must be terrible!"

Its a loaded statement, jedi mind trick style.

Airtran Blows (2, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305591)

My experience with AirTran was the worst flight I've ever been on. Bastards left us stranded in Atlanta for 8 hours.

I'd never fly on that airline again even if the ticket was free.

Company name check... (3, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305419)

That should be AirTran, not AirTrans.

Lawsuit (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305431)

I smell big discrimination lawsuit coming.. too bad airliners are broke as they are already.

Re:Lawsuit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305465)

Considering they made threats, they probably wouldn't win a lawsuit.

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305567)

"Hey, look, the engine is right outside my window" is a threat?

Or was it having the audacity to be "irate" when AirTran 1) refused to re-book them on any flight, and 2) refused to issue a refund?

Re:Lawsuit (1)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305535)

Maybe, just maybe, the airline companies left will be a bit more careful if a successful lawsuit takes one past the brink of bankruptcy.

Re:Lawsuit (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305579)

Yes, the airlines should sue the family for not having their armband with "beat me, I am a potential terrorist". Any potential wrongdoer has to be readily identified using visual markers. We must save us all from the potentials. No measure should be omitted to make us all safe.
/sarcasm

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Myrddin Wyllt (1188671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305873)

.. armband with "beat me, I am a potential terrorist".

Nah, that would take too long to read. I'm sure a system of coloured stars and triangles sewn onto clothing would work much better.

"bomb" (0, Flamebait)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305473)

I was reading this earlier over at CNN. Apparently the group mentioned the words "bomb" and "attack" while they were talking to themselves, hypothetically discussing the safest part of the plane to be in. Understandably this caused some concern with other passengers.

The FBI cleared them of any wrong-doing. According to what I read, the group was happy with the FBI's response. They did request a later flight, which the Airline rejected.

Re:"bomb" (4, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305631)

Actually, you misread. The article at CNN explicitly stated: "The conversation did not contain the words "bomb," "explosion," "terror" or other words that might have aroused suspicion, Atif Irfan said."
See linky: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/02/family.grounded/index.html [cnn.com]

Not to mention that merely saying the word bomb and attack is not cause for concern. Are we really less capable than the various chat bots for understanding context?

Discrimination (5, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305477)

Laissez-faire types will hate me for suggesting this, but this is exactly the sort of thing that should lead to anti-discrimination lawsuits. We make a big deal out of prohibiting racial discrimination in employment and housing, so why not in transportation? It's because Muslims are all terrorists... innit?

Re:Discrimination (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305549)

It's because Muslims are all terrorists... innit?

No. But most of them are. And all it takes is most of them.

Re:Discrimination (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305597)

Why? The airline they went with wound up getting customers they wouldn't have had, and the airline that kicked them off is getting bad publicity and will likely have lost customers along with losing the family as customers in the first place.

Exactly the way the free market is supposed to work, no need for government intervention or bullshit laws.

Re:Discrimination (4, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305655)

Yeah, fuck civil rights. Black people shouldn't have made such a fuss about where they could sit on buses, they should have sucked it up and let the free market handle it.

Re:Discrimination (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305769)

It wasn't the buses (ie, the free market) that decided where black people sat, it was state law (ie, government intervention).

Re:Discrimination (0, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305851)

So, did you miss the whole part about boycotts and the Martin Luther King protests?

Do you think the bus companies just said one day "Oh boy, you know those angry colored people are right!"

No, they got hit in the pocket book due to boycotts and changed their policies because of it.

Re:Discrimination (1)

non0score (890022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305877)

Not only do I think you're right, I also think the GP is sorely mistaken. Sure, the "bad" publicity will lead to less brown people flying on AirTran, but will probably attract more white/yellow/black people flying with them because of the perceived "safety" with the handling/kicking-off of brown people. I'm not trying to be racist...I just think people are hypocrites when it comes to rooting for some identifiable group but not getting on the same plane as them.

Re:Discrimination (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305703)

no need for government intervention or bullshit laws.

Laws against discrimination are not unwarranted government intervention or bullshit laws.

What you are saying is that if a corner sandwich shop put a sign up that said, "No Niggers Allowed" that it would be free market that would punish them. That is offensive and incorrect. We need laws and government enforcement to stop exactly that sort of behavior.

Re:Discrimination (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305891)

What you are saying is that if a corner sandwich shop put a sign up that said, "No Niggers Allowed" that it would be free market that would punish them.

Maybe offensive, but hardly incorrect. Do you know anybody, white, black or otherwise, who would even consider buying a sandwich there? I imagine the free market would sink that business pretty goddamn fast.

Re:Discrimination (2, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305899)

I'm not disagreeing with you that those things should be against the law, but I do have a question for you: in this day and age, how many people do you know that would be willing to patronize a sandwich shop that had a sign like that?

Re:Discrimination (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305609)

Well, Muslim-looking-people are the new "black people" when it comes to profiling. I know what it feels like, being that I'm half black and half white. It's easy for people to shrug it off when it has never happened to them. Dirty looks, being spat on, racial slurs, etc. Fortunatly my experiences turned me into the strong person that I am today.

Hopefully those of you who are unempathetic will never have the shoe on the other foot.

Re:Discrimination (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305711)

I know what it feels like, being that I'm half black and half white. It's easy for people to shrug it off when it has never happened to them. Dirty looks, being spat on, racial slurs, etc. Fortunatly my experiences turned me into the strong person that I am today.

President-Elect Obama? Is that you?

Re:Discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305801)

My kingdom for a mod point!

Re:Discrimination (4, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305759)

I donno man, I'm an atheist and had a little old grandma spit on me, too. People can be ignorant savages regardless of skin tone. If you're different than they are with something they identify strongly with, they'll turn on you no matter what.

Bunch of savages in this town.

Yeah! (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305885)

Because us Whities never had our asses kicked and paper-route money stolen and routinely fucked with by all the minorities in the neighborhood!

And you thought.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305485)

..that the "real terrorists" didn't succeed in their plots to "terrorize" Americans.

The idiot who reported them (4, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305509)

I bet the xenophobic idiot who reported their 'suspicious comments' is pleased with themselves, having delayed their flight by 2 hours.

Re:The idiot who reported them (-1, Troll)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305593)

It doesn't really matter their race, religion, etc etc...If anyone is talking about a "bomb" or what have you, they should be reported. Better safe and late then dead and never arriving.

Re:The idiot who reported them (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305627)

So it's a coincidence that they're Muslims? FYI they were not discussing bombs, they were talking about the safest place to sit in an aeroplane.

Re:The idiot who reported them (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305637)

You are either sarcastic or an idiot.

Re:The idiot who reported them (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305927)

If anyone is talking about a "bomb" or what have you, they should be reported. Better safe and late then dead and never arriving.

This group never said anything about a bomb. A professional terrorist wouldn't wander down the isle speculating about the best place to put one, either. What does it say about airport security that people who have been through a thorough screening can still arouse suspicion with a casual comment? No faith in Homeland Security or the billions we're spending on airport security?

I am constantly amazed at the level of ignorance and stupidity this country displays toward security. It's gutless and unreasoned. There are something like 1.2 billion Muslims on the planet, around 22% of the total population of the planet! We have problems with a few thousand of them. How long are we going to use 9-11 to justify continued fear and ignorance?

Pathetic.

Re:The idiot who reported them (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305789)

Xenophobic? That sounds like foreigner talk.

Wanna Be (2, Insightful)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305859)

I bet the xenophobic idiot who reported their 'suspicious comments' is pleased with themselves, having delayed their flight by 2 hours.

I bet it was a 9/11 hero Wanna Be who thought that he could foil a terrorist plot and get his 15 minutes of fame. Don't underestimate a person's desire to be a "hero", to feel important, and be a media whore.

Everyone should know (3, Informative)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305517)

Be careful what you say at airports and on planes. Never get irate or argue at airports and on planes. My mother who is white, has made both mistakes and ran in to similar reactions from airline and airport employees.

Re:Everyone should know (4, Informative)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305667)

Be careful what you say at airports and on planes. Never get irate or argue at airports and on planes.

That's correct. In fact, it's important to remember the cardinal rule of the airline business: The customer is always wrong.

Re:Everyone should know (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305947)

Mod parent up. This is the truest thing I have ever read.

Re:Everyone should know (1)

acrobg (1175095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305735)

Indeed. When I was a child of 11 or so, I was talking inside Security in San Diego when going with my parents to drop my cousin off after a visit. I was talkin about how certain things couldget through security without being detected. bout 30 seconds later, a gate agent and security person were in front of me saying that talking about that kind of a thing inside security is inappropriate and shouldn't be done. Mind you this was in the 1990s, so it was a pre-9/11 era. I'd be terrified of what would happen had I had the same conversation today, and I'm older than 11 at this point. I've gotten into arguments with TSA at the checkpoint when carrying motion picture film onto airplanes. At LAX it's not so much an issue, as they deal with it all the time. But other places, I've even had a copy of their website stating that motion picture film never needs to be xrayed, and they still don't believe me (I give myself a solid hour extra to get through security if I'm carrying film compared to if I'm carrying my usual bag). And finally, don't carry a peanut butter sandwich packed with a hairdryer. Apparently it's something they look for

Re:Everyone should know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305861)

And finally, don't carry a peanut butter sandwich packed with a hairdryer. Apparently it's something they look for

Frankly, threatening to blow up a plane would be a bit of a relief compared to whatever the hell sort of fun you were planning...

The title is overzealous (0)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305531)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/02/AR2009010201695.html [washingtonpost.com]

The airline already apologized, refunded the money, and paid for the other flight the family took that trip. Just get over it. Plus really it was passengers on the flight who started the whole thing. Like that old lady on the plane in that movie about Harold and Kumar.

Re:The title is overzealous (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305683)

The airline already apologized, refunded the money, and paid for the other flight the family took that trip. Just get over it.

The article does not say that the airline paid for the other flight. It says that the airline offered to pay for the other flight. I'm guessing that the offer requires the family to release the airline of all liability.

Also, other reports stated that the airline was refusing to pay the family's extra cost of taking the other flight, which implies that the offer only came after this became a national news issue. In other words, the offer of a refund only came about because people did not get over it.

Re:The title is overzealous (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305751)

So let me get this straight, you get on a plane and share your opinion that you'd rather not sit next to the engine, because it's not a safe spot in an accident, and you expect to be taken off of the flight, reported to the FBI, and embarrassed by being refused to be allowed back on or to take another flight later on despite the fact that you've been screened a second time and cleared by the FBI.

That, according to you, is a level headed response? An appropriate response?

Are you one of those folk who complain that rape victims had it coming, they should have known not to do whatever it was that caused them to catch the rapist's eye?

Re:The title is overzealous (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305755)

The passengers were at fault for being racists and reporting a non-issue. The airline was not at fault for handing the matter over to the FBI when the issue was reported. The FBI did the right thing by clearing the family. However, the airline WAS at fault for refusing to let the family fly on any future flight even after they had been cleared by the FBI. There's no legitimate (non-discriminatory) reason to do that given the circumstances.

These people likely had their whole vacation planned, and this incident screwed up their plans. One article said they were going to a religious conference, and it's unlikely that conference was delayed while they tried to make other travel arrangements. On top of all of that, they were made to feel like second-class citizens simply because they were brown and Muslim.

They have good cause for a lawsuit against the airline, and I think they should file one. I'm not talking millions of dollars here, but the airline needs to get slapped in court to make them think twice next time a situation like this crops up.

The fact that incidents like this keep happening show that bin Laden and his cohorts succeeded beyond their wildest dreams on 9/11.

Re:The title is overzealous (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305777)

Plus really it was passengers on the flight who started the whole thing.

So the ignorant behavior of some passengers completely excuses the employees in the airline and airport for their behavior?

Like that old lady on the plane in that movie about Harold and Kumar.

Perfect example of an idiot in action. That whole scene illustrates how somebody's preconceptions and stereotypes can affect their perceptions of reality.

The marshals on the plane should have been smart and mature enough to see through that crap after 2 minutes of talking with that family.

Police State (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305559)

I read about this. Someone remarked that they were sitting right by the engine. That's all it took and 9 were booted off. Pathetic. So much for freedom of speech. They wouldn't let them rebook either. I know this I will never conform to what other people want me to be so you might as well just shoot me in the head like cattle and get it over with.

Einstein's (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305573)

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

But that was said in the old, innocent days. If he were still alive, probably would add something about the order of infinite that describes human stupidity.

The US has over 1 million lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305577)

Hopefully when they are done this family will own the airline.

I just dread the day... (4, Insightful)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305669)

I just dread the day terrorists start pulling bombings of buses or trains or truck weigh stations or busy freeways or malls or what-have-you in the US. Because that day, all the stupidity we see in airports and airplanes will be copied into those venues too.

Unless, of course, we as a people finally pull our heads out instead.

Is this legal ? (4, Insightful)

bheading (467684) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305701)

I'm reasonably sure in Europe you could be sued if you refused to carry someone based on their religion or racial background - I have a feeling this is true in the US also ? If so, I hope they take this stupid airline to the cleaners. Even setting the obvious discrimination aside, there was no excuse for denying them travel given that the FBI had cleared them.

Re:Is this legal ? (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305939)

If I remember my basic law class, the airline would have to do this with ALL Muslims or anyone that looks like them to get into trouble. In other words, if they made it a policy to throw ALL Muslim folks off of the plane.

What level were the decisions made? (3, Informative)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305707)

Is there any indication if the decision to not let them back on the plane after the FBI okayed them was made by a low or high level employee?

If some clerk/pilot made the call, then there's no indication it's "systemic" with the airline, and they can be fired and we can see if the problem goes away. However, if a higher-up in AirTran made the decision, there may be a real reason for backlash from the Muslim community (or anyone that disapproves of racism).

I was born in the 80s so I don't know what the days were like in this country when "blacks" had to sit at the back of the bus, but man this whole anti-muslim thing, while not believed by a majority of Americans, is still prevalent enough for me to not want to be a Muslim living in this country. And a race of people not wanting to live in this country due to prejudice is the opposite of the American Way, and is the opposite path to us maintaining our world strength.

Re:What level were the decisions made? (0, Troll)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305825)

Muslim is not a "race". It is not something you are born with. It is a religion. It is a religion that is incredibly hostile to people not of that faith.

Sure, there are probably lots of fine people that are Muslim. However, there are a large number that either refuse to acknowledge the radicals go too far or silently agree with the radicals. We have no idea which, but there is way too little condemnation of the radicals.

Accepting the acts of the Islamic radicals generates lots of hostility towards Muslims in general. I don't care if they don't agree - standing around and looking like they agree makes all Muslims look bad.

I fail to see the issue here... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305749)

Just hold up a sign of the 9/11 hijackers, the shoe bomber guy, and Osama Bin Laden. If you look like that, you will be searched and subjected to addition security. If you don;t like it, maybe you should change religion because all your kind do is breed hate and violence.

On a side note, I hate how all the bleeding heart liberals go "Oh you poor, oppressed Muslims" The evil Jews are killing you.

Despite the fact Israel has shown great restraint in dealing with the Palestinians (if it was me, Id bulldoze the entire Gaza strip into the sea and turn it into a resort), they are still labeled as evil and a terrorist state for finally retaliating after multiple rocket attacks and suicide bombers.

Back on topic. Muslims DESERVE to be paid extra attention to. After all it is their 'religion of peace' that breeds suicide bombers like rabbits. 99% of all terrorist acts are committed by religions nutjobs.

And go ahead and mod me down. I relish it. The fact your PC idiots refuse to wake up from your delusional world is why we are in for a world of hurt over the next 4-8 years.

freedom (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305779)

Those who value security over liberty deny either.

That is what we should be thinking of. But what we often think of is if discriminating against 1000 of the 'other' is what it takes to save my family, my job, the status quo, then what do I care. As long as I am ok, the so be it.

I am sure that some in new york, as was posted in response to a recent Schneier blog, would say hey, you were obviously not around the twin towers when they fell, otherwise you would feel different. What if they had not allowed any dark people on the plane. Then it would have never have happened. QED, discrimination justified.

People, kids, family will say thigs. I see people praying, and it does not mean they are going to crash a plane. Just because you have nail poiish does not mean you are going to make a bomb. For some strange reason, we do not approach every redneck in a pickup truck loaded with fertilizers and take them down to the Homeland security for integration.

However, given that profiling does appear to be a recognized method to stop even the most rare of crime, and given that we want a security system that eliminates all crime no matter what, even at the cost of freedom, here is my suggestion to all those nations outside the US. The cities of Destroit, Baltimore, St. louis, Newwark, Washington, D.C., and Oakland, all have hugely high murder rates. to the point where maybe one out of every hundred people is a murderer, assuming that each person commits murder only once during their life, likely during 20 and 50. It would therefore be prudent to restrict travel by anyone who has ever lived in these cities. This shouldn't be a big problem, except for washington. Philidelphia is the only city with more than a million people who have an obscenely high murder rate. Most larger cities have about half the murder rate of Oakland. I certainly would feel much safer on an airplane knowing that I am not traveling with a passenger from these cities.

Of course, given that it is more likely that I will killed in a car accident than in a terrorist attack, we could chill and try to save democracy from the fear mongers.

Maybe it was their credit card. (0, Troll)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305795)

They didn't use American Express.

unfair but is it unreasonable? (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305805)

if you are a Muslim and the Muslims are known for acts of suicide terrorism, its not too brite to say things that might be construed the wrong way. Just like you don t dress like a gang member if you dont want to be treated as such, or a Hollywood profile drug carrier etc

On one hand we are outraged by these events but on the other hand we allow our government zero tolerance for terrorist events or accidents to happen. If you want to be safe, you have have to sacrifice liberty.

Lawsuit Incoming? (1)

jbacon (1327727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305807)

I really hope this ends up being a landmark case for racial profiling. I'm rooting for colossal punitive damages, personally.

What CAN you talk about at the airport? (2, Insightful)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305849)

At the end of the day, people got on and made comments they shouldn't have made on the airplane, and other people heard them,

Other people heard them, misconstrued them. It just so happened these people were of Muslim faith and appearance. It escalated, it got out of hand and everyone took precautions.

So wait, you can't talk about airport security at the airport? That's all I talk about on the airlines. After hours of waiting, being stripped of liquids for no reason, having to take of your shoes, it kind of is the elephant in the room.

It seems likely that they were given special attention because of their appearance, accent, culture, et cetera. Personally, I'm not expecting anyone, especially the airline to admit this.

Similar story... (5, Interesting)

KStieers (84864) | more than 5 years ago | (#26305871)

Minnesota Public Radio's "The Story" show with Dick Gordon did a piece on Mohamed Fikry, an almost 5 million mile customer with American Airlines... and they pulled the SAME CRAP. Twice! Once because a customer heard him speaking "a foreign language on the phone" (it was Spanish) and once because a flight attendant thought she'd seen him "backstage". 5 Million Miles! with the same airline... And to top it off, they had the FBI pull him from the plane AFTER they flew to the destination! If he were such a threat, why let him fly at ALL... Gotta love airline customer service. Link to the story http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_669_Business_Class_Terrorist.mp3/view [thestory.org]

News for Nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26305933)

So how exactly is this news for nerds? If I want social commentary on non-technology related issues, I can visit any number of websites.

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