Nine Muslims were kicked off a New Year’s Day flight from D.C. to Florida by AirTran Airways.The incident began when one Muslim passenger, Atif Irfan, told his wife and sister-in-lay they had seats in the back of the plane.
Irfan said he believed sitting near the wing was the safest, while the sister-in-law said the rear of the plane was the safest.
Someone should tell him all the fuel is stored in the wings.
This was overheard by some passengers and reported to the crew.
Engines shut down. Plane delayed. Questions asked. Nine passengers cleared of all suspicion, but were nonetheless kicked of the plane. No one arrived at his appointed destination on time. A lot of bad PR for AirTran.
Everyone was inconvenienced for nothing.
Think about it logically.
If they were terrorists bent on suicide bombing the plane, why would they even be discussing where the safest place to sit was?
They wouldn’t. They wouldn’t care.
In a magnanimous gesture and exhibiting no rancor, Irfan, said the apology was “definitely nice to hear.”
Irfan also said he thought they were profiled, because of their appearance. The men had beards and the women wore traditional headscarves.
"My wife and I are generally very careful about what we say when we step on the plane," he said.
He added that they have received suspicious looks in the past.
"We're used to this sort of thing, but obviously not to this extent.”
Every culture, every nation, every city, every region has traditions, and for the most part they are nice traditions. But like a lot of nice things, maybe it would be better if they were practiced in the privacy of one’s home.