Looks like the Republican who took Obama’s senate seat isn’t impressed with Delta’s response to the brouhaha over their new code-sharing deal with Jew-hating, gay-hating and woman-hating Saudi Arabia.

Sen. Kirk wants FAA to investigate alleged religious discrimination by Delta

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) called Friday for the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate allegations Delta Airlines blocked Jewish passengers from flying as part of an agreement with a Saudi Arabian airline.

USA Today reported Thursday on rumors circulating Internet that as part of Saudi Arabian Airlines’s agreement to join Delta’s SkyTeam alliance, Delta would enforce a Saudi ban on passengers from Israel and non-Islamic religious artifacts.

Delta denied the accusation, saying it had a nondiscrimination policy, but Kirk still called for an investigation Friday.

“I am deeply concerned by the June 23, 2011, report in USA Today entitled ‘U.S. Jews not able to fly on Delta flights to Saudi Arabia,'” Kirk wrote in a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “If true, this policy appears to violate the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause while undermining the purpose of the Federal Aviation Administration – to promote the safety and expansion of U.S. civil aviation.

Here’s the Delta blog response most interesting of which are the comments. I find their response to be rather pathetic. Apparently so do others. Here’s one comment example:

The original USA Today story, btw, has been flushed down the memory hole. The original URL now points to this: Airline to Jewish rumor: ‘Delta does not discriminate.’

Lawyers? At this point maybe they should think about getting better business decision-makers and public relations professionals instead.

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4 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Shifra says:

    Tammy, thanks for this post. Strangely, though, I am not really offended by Delta’s (‘you’ll love the way we fly’) “no-Jew” policy; I found the story about the American soldiers (being charged extra for their luggage) much more upsetting. Anyway, S. Arabia has always held zero appeal for me. This is a country where a woman is not allowed to drive, and is not allowed to walk outside of her home without a male “chaperone,” and where American soldiers are told *not* to wear a crucifix, even under their shirts, so that they will not offend Muslims. Add to that, the horror of gays being put to death, women punished for being raped, etc etc and I dunno, it just does *not* sound like a fun place…. To paraphrase W.C. Field’s suggestion for his own epitaph: “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”

  2. dennisl59 says:

    To me, it’s not religious discrimination by Delta, or any other airline that’s permitted to fly into The Oil Kingdom; it’s the religious discrimination by the Saudi Arabian ‘government'(using that term loosely).

    Let’s review, just abstracted from the US State Department website:

    1) Private Saudi citizens who perceive that a foreigner is not observing conservative standards of conduct may harass, pursue, or assault that person.
    2) Homosexual activity is considered to be a criminal offense and those convicted may be sentenced to lashing, prison, or death.
    3) Saudi authorities do not permit criticism of Islam or the royal family. The government prohibits the public practice of religions other than Islam. Non-Muslims suspected of violating these restrictions have been jailed.
    4)A married woman should be aware that she must have her husband’s permission for her and their children to depart Saudi Arabia. This is true even if the woman and/or her children are U.S. citizens and even if her husband does not have Saudi nationality.
    5)Saudi customs and postal officials broadly define what is contrary to Islam and therefore prohibited. Christmas decorations, fashion magazines, and “suggestive” videos may be confiscated and the owner subject to penalties and fines.
    6)Women who are arrested for socializing with a man who is not a relative may be charged with prostitution.
    7)Dancing, playing music, and showing movies in public are forbidden.
    8)Women can’t drive cars, still.

    And on and on and on…

    Rather than direct ‘outrage’ at Delta, and write letters to the FAA of your ‘deep concern’, Senator,if America was energy independent, we could bankrupt this Repressive, Misogynist Medieval Gang of Tribes and the Sand People would have to go back to living in tents, riding camels and eating goat.

    In my opinion.

    posted 6/25 850am texas time

  3. Phylliss1 says:

    Tammy, I am a bit fo an airline buff so I feel compelled to comment. Delta does not fly to Saudi Arabia and does not codeshare with Saudi Airlines. They are not planning to codeshare with Saudi Airlines.

    All they have with Saudi Airlines is an interline agreement (same as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines & US Airways have with Saudi Airlines) that allows passengers to purchase a ticket with flights on more than one airline have their bags transferred for them. United Airlines did have a codesharing agreement with Saudi Airlines a few years back.

    I honestly think this is a non-story story. The problem is Saudi Arabia’s archaic laws & treatment of their citizens & visitors to their country, not Delta Air Lines (which does NOT fly to Saudi Arabia, plan to fly to Saudi Arabia, codeshare on flgihts to Saudi Arabia or plan to codeshare with Saudi Airlines).

    Delta is the ONLY airline in the US with non-unionized employees & we should support them as much as possible. Note that the Obama administrations National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is currently trying to invalidate recent votes by Delta’s employees AGAINST unionization to give the unions another try. Our energy would be better focused there, in my opinion.


    • dennisl59 says:

      And here’s the story:

      NLRB Widening Its Probe Of Delta Airlines’ Alleged Illegal Interference In Union Elections–by Doug Cunningham, Worker Independent News 6/9/2011

      The National Labor Relations Board is widening its investigation into possible improper interference in the biggest union representation election since the election at Ford Motor Company seventy years ago. The NLRB is conducting on-site investigations now to determine whether Delta airlines illegally pressured 30,000 ramp and gate workers to vote against unionization. The NLRB is also probing possible Delta labor law violations involving 20,000 flight attendants. The IAM and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA lost the union representation elections, but both are contesting the results due to alleged improper interference by Delta management.

      posted 6/25 412pm texas time

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