Pilots lock down cockpit over praying passengers

Discussion in 'Blogstand' started by tom911, Mar 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Everyone has the right to pray, but why a ceremony in-flight?
     
  3. doc
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    doc Silver Member

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    Sadly, a sign of the times.. :(
    The prevailing thought, if any, appears to be 'Better safe than sorry', I guess?
    As an American, while I understand the fear of safety, I also appreciate my freedoms.
    I find this somewhat embarassing.
     
  4. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    Because Jewish prayers are done at specific times of day. In the case of a long enough flight, there isn't a lot of choice.
     
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  5. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    There is a choice to not fly. Seriously, AS isn't required to let them pray. It's a private business. If they wanted to do something unfamiliar and potentially frightening (not that there actually is anything frighting, but some people overreact) then they should have asked first and received permission.
     
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  6. PTravel
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    PTravel Silver Member

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    It wasn't a "ceremony." It's how orthodox Jews pray.

    As a matter of fact, you're mistaken. AS is a common carrier engaged in interstate commerce and cannot discriminate against anyone based on religion.

    Sorry, it doesn't work that way on common carriers. Just like AS doesn't have to ask me about their "prayer cards," which I find unfamiliar and frightening.
     
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  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I wasn't suggesting that discrimination against a religion is okay. I was trying to point out that AS has an obligation to perform a service without unnecessary disturbance from passengers. Some people on a plane might be upset if they saw other passengers performing an unfamiliar prayer ritual in a foreign language. They wouldn't know if it's a threat or not. All they know is they're locked up in a metal tube with these strange people. They pull passengers off a plane for foul odor, and I think they would pull passengers off a plane for doing this.

    Praying silently and without disturbing other passengers is okay. It seems in this case, for whatever reason, they caused a disturbance. If they can't pray without causing a disturbance, then they shouldn't fly, or else they should contact AS before hand to see if there's someway a disturbance can be avoided (e.g., describing how they pray and having a FA make an announcement so the other passengers aren't disturbed).
     
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  8. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Where in the article does it say they were causing a disturbance? Are you reading that in some other news article? I wouldn't equate someone praying, no matter what religion, with causing a disturbance.

    Should everyone boarding with the intent to pray get it cleared by the flight attendant? Where do you draw the line, under what you've proposed, in who would notify the F/A and who would not? I don't think it's a line you want to cross. If anything, Alaska needs to provide some religious diversity training to its flight attendants so this doesn't happen again, and should meet with leaders in that religious community to let them know it won't happen again.
     
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  9. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    I'm sure somebody else has pointed out that the same description can just as well apply to a person praying with a rosary.
     
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  10. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Wow, some really scary comments from the land of the "free". These responses really highlight how far we have fallen in common courtesy and religious respect with fear overcoming everything in the name of "security".

    the AS response us nothing more than yet another embarrassment and done by a company throwing their christian cards at anyone who comes on board besides.
     
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  11. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Whether it's religious ceremonies, extra baggage in the overheads, more money, or whatever, I want the man who is in charge of making sure the tin cigar we are all hurtling in, in the middle of the sky gets to the final destination (ha!) OK is happy......so he can do what he wants in my book.
     
  12. PTravel
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    PTravel Silver Member

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    Then that is the problem of the passengers. If the sight of an orthodox Jew praying is upsetting, then those who are upset have led a remarkably insular life.

    As I said, then they must have led a remarkably insular life (and I'm being charitable). What do you think the orthodox Jews were going to do? Hijack the plane and fly it to Israel?
    Orthodox Jews are not strange people.

    A religious person praying is the same as a foul odor to you? Really? If AS ever did pull passengers off a plane for praying because some people thought it was "unfamiliar ritual in a foreign language" that was "threatening," as a lawyer, I would love to represent them in the lawsuit, as they would wind up owning the airline.

    Why is it okay? As for disturbing other passengers, apparently it was not the volume that was disturbing, but the fact of prayer.

    Ignorance and bigotry on the part of some passengers that manifests itself as hysteria is hardly the fault of anyone else.

    This is the U.S. Jews do not have to contact a common carrier in advance to pray in accordance with their religious custom. Moreover, of all common carriers, AS has the least basis for complaining, given that it incorporates religious missives into its service.
     
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  13. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'm not trying to insult anyone. I'm saying that events can be misconstrued by people with different backgrounds and different perceptions of what's going on. I don't find religious people offensive or strange or comparable to foul odors. I think you're overreacting to what I said.

    Orthodox Jews are just one example of people who act differently from most people due to their adherence to certain religious practices. For certain groups, the general public has few opportunities to interact with them and become comfortable with unfamiliar behavior. Example: The Amish generally live apart from modern society and in certain regions of the country. Except for a wedding, I've seen fewer than five in my life. That doesn't mean they're bad, but different=strange=uncomfortable for some people. Not me. But apparently someone on that plane, found these people praying in an unfamiliar manner unsettling. The news report said they were praying loudly and wearing straps around their wrists. From what I read, it sounded like an overreaction, but there was still something to overreact to. But then again, I wasn't there, you weren't there. I only know what I read in an article that was only written in the first place because someone was worried enough to complain. So there's going to be some bias.

    I don't care if anyone prays on a plane. I really don't. But the security fears these days are insane, whether we agree with them or not. Even if I don't care for the way AS handled it or whether people pray or how or when, I would be annoyed that these people hadn't considered that they might cause a disturbance. If my plane got diverted or held at the gate and I missed a connection, I would be annoyed, regardless of whether any wrong was committed.

    And I'm going to stop there, because I think I've been fairly rational and polite in making my point three times. I'm not trying to argue about how the world needs to change. I'm just observing how things are.
     
  14. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Quite disappointing that the FAs did not realize that a prayer (or tefillin, apologies if I am using it incorrectly as a verb) was being conducted. I have been on several Air Canada flights (EWR-YYZ) where it has happened and not a person batted an eyelash. Had the FA spoken with the people praying the result may have been different. It seems that we are coming up with this issue often enough that the airlines should be informed on this matter (such as times when prayer services will be conducted...), instead of locking down the flight and having law enforcement officials meeting the plan.

    I read a comment in one article about a metal box and wiring strapped to the individuals, but better social awareness of the tefillin materials is warranted
     
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  15. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    There were fire trucks and police called to the airplane. That sounds like a disturbance. I'm not using the term to describe starting a fight on a plane, but it disrupted normal operations. Again, I think it was an overreaction, but these people who started praying were the ultimate cause.

    I don't know that there's any line. But apparently they crossed it. There are lots of things I do in private that I wouldn't do in public, or at least I would ask permission first.
     
  16. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    I call BS!! The passengers didn't start anything, a clueless FA (and possibly friends) started this based on their own shortsightedness and lack of sensitivity to any religion they were not familiar with. NOT AN ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE!! They are working in a position that exposes them to all sorts of people, if they can't figure out when to be scared and when not to be, when to call the Cops (and geez, were there emergency workers/vehicles called!) and when to write something off as new, strange, unusual but NOT A THREAT, then they should really find a NEW JOB!

    "They" didn't cross anything unless they is AS and the FAs ... the PASSENGER DID NOTHING WRONG (are you getting that yet). The hysteria is self-made, not of the passengers making.

    You are trying to make your world much scarier than it is ... stop drinking the Kool-Aid, you will be much more relaxed and open to new experiences that are not towing some unknown line that some bureaucrat wants to draw in the sand.
     
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  17. PTravel
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    PTravel Silver Member

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    The disruption was caused by the ignorant passengers, not by the people praying.

    So Jews need to ask permission to pray in public because it's "unfamiliar"? How about Christians? I assume your caveat would apply to Muslims as well.

    Do you realize what you're saying?
     
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  18. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    That the Bill of Rights shouldn't apply on an airplane in respect to religious freedoms? Rather scary that it's even being suggested that an airline would be able to regulate the exercise of anyone's religious beliefs.
     
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  19. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    This is what caused the panic? Metal box and wiring - where?

    Phylacteries.jpg


    It looks like US knows what phylacteries are

    Tefillin-Air.jpg
     
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  20. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    Sorry but I disagree and I frequently pray while Im on a flight. If all a person will be doing is opening a pray book and silently say their prays or in a whisper, I agree theres no problem and really not any different then a person sitting and reading a book.

    however if a person will be conducting their prays with anything other then a book, eg a Muslim their pray rug or a Jew their Tefflin even while sitting in their seat (so much more if out of their seat) Then Yes I would expect them to 1st inform an FA what they will be doing. It will take all of a couple of mins and alleviate exactly what took place

    And thats exactly what I do when I have no choice but to say my prays while in flight and I wont for whatever reason be doing it while sitted or have to don my Tefillin. Now Ive never been told I cant pray maybe since Im usually not in Y, but I dont know what would happen if I was refused, most likely I would ask to speak to the FSM, and if need be the Capt. If that leds no where, then I will do what I need to do while in my seat and inform a few people around what has happened so that when we land and the LEOs or FEDs are waiting others will be able to tell them that I did everything I could to prevent this from getting out of hand. Thank G-D I havent ever been put into such a situation and really dont see that I ever will be in such a situation.

    Most Domestic flights will land before sundown and anyone can upon arrival put on their Tefflin even thou they said their morning prays hours before. Now that is not the case with Intl flights where one must put on their Tefflin during the flight if they departed before dawn and will be arriving after sundown or too close to it especially during the winter time when they just might land but be delayed getting to the gate = deboarding w/o enough time to put their Tefflin on before sundown
     
  21. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    And by poorly trained crew.[​IMG]
     
  22. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    from an AP article of alittle over an hour ago, it seems the 3 were transiting at LAX to an Intl flight.

    So AS 241 leaves MEX @ 6am and arrives at LAX if on time @ 8:55am , that would mean they werent able to put on their Tefflin @ MEX due to it being too early, now depending on what time their connecting flight was out of LAX they might have had enough time to put them on @ LAX or Not depending which Term and Carrier they were connecting to and at what time the connecting flight departed. W/O knowing this additional info its not possible for anyone to say they should have put them on @ LAX

    If they indeed had enough time between flights then they should have waited till they got to LAX to put on their Tefflin but should have still said the Morning Prays while on the AS flight. If they thought they wouldnt have had enough time @ LAX , no problem speak to a FA beforehand and clear it
     
  23. doc
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    Craz.. others.. perhaps so..
    Yet for this to cause such a "fuss" .. IDK, really? :(
    Yes, admittedly, I'm from NY when Jewish folks of the Orthodox variety are not exactly uncommon..
    The 1st time I saw this, I was a bit stratled.. yet surely not alarmed...
    I was in college.. 17 yrs old.. on Allegheny Airlines :D
    We need to be smarter & more tolerant IMHO :)
     
  24. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    doc, fyi

    I put Tefflin on 6 days every week Sun-Fri inclusive (except for when theres a major Jewish Holiday and they arent put on). I try my best when flying to find an empty secluded area in a term , but more often then not I end up either in the Club or at an empty gate area in wide-view and a few times I saw that people were stopping and staring and probably wondering, What is that nut up to

    and yes a couple of times I was approached by some LEOs but as they were heading over someone explained to them hes OK hes Jewish and simply saying his morning prays, funny most of the times it was a African American who told them that.

    Again Im not saying that You or the others are wrong, Im only saying that under very few conditions will a person find themselevs with no other choice but to put their Tefillin on while in flight and if that happens to be the case then why cant they simply go up to an FA and let them know what will be taking place. Of cause no need to do that on a flight to TLV as on most US non-stops they even make an announcement what time morning prays will be and where. And most TATL flights get in before sundown, alot of TPAC flights especially in the Winter would mean putting them on in flight due to ones arrival time
     
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  25. IMGone
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    craz - I think the point from the other side of the aisle is that we consider it a courtesy that you tell the FA, not a requirement. And in either case, no one should expect to be detained, embarrassed or anything else as was done here just because you didn't share before hand. Proper handling is a question not a call to lockdown the cockpit
     
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