Sunday, May 08, 2011

Is It Safe To Fly on Delta?


I'm sure there's a totally reasonable explanation for why all the U.S. carriers now offer the worst service in the skies and why Delta is even worse than the other U.S. airlines. I've long given up on Delta-- and even hesitate to use the American Express credit card that is attached to it's frequent flyer program-- and always look for an alternative when I'm flying. After Friday's blatantly bigoted outrage in Memphis, I would think a lot more Americans will stop flying Delta as well.

I suppose if you're some provincial, bucktoothed bumpkin who's never seen a Muslim cleric, one look at the two Muslim scholars boarding the Delta flight to Charlotte would be enough to ensure a panic attack. Fortunately the pilot restrained himself from shooting them and merely kicked them off "his" plane (before it took off). It didn't matter that they had been searched and body-searched not once, but twice. They had Muslim beards and hippie clothes.
Masudur Rahman, a professor of Arabic at the University of Memphis, and Mohamed Zaghloul, Imam at the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis, were asked to deplane Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 5452 from Memphis to Charlotte. They were subjected to additional security checks after the plane had pushed back from the gate, Rahman told Reuters by telephone.

After additional screening, the two men were cleared by Delta representatives to re-board the plane, but were then told the pilot would not take them, Rahman said.

Rahman said both men had been cleared for check-in and boarding by airline and Transportation Security Administration officials during normal pre-flight procedures.

According to a TSA spokesman, the decision to remove the two passengers was made by the airline.

Delta apologized-- to the passengers who were inconvenienced by the delay. The two Muslims were, ironically enough, headed for a conference on Islamophobia, where they were scheduled to lead prayers. They were 9 hours late for the conference. Delta couldn't be doing a better job if they were being paid directly by al-Qaeda. In fairness, I need to point out that Delta doesn't just discriminate against Muslims; they hate musicians (especially violinists) as well-- and musicians have joined the Delta Boycott. I hope the world's 1.5 billion Muslims do as well.
The American Federation of Musicians, the largest union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada, is calling on its 100,000 members to boycott Delta Airlines over the airline's refusal to let musicians carry their instruments with them on board flights.

...The AFM has worked with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and U.S. airlines to educate them on the need for musicians to be able to carry fragile, valuable and sometimes, historic, instruments with them in the cabin, instead of leaving them with baggage handlers untrained in the care of such valuable cargo. Indeed, U.S. law limits the amount that airlines can be held liable for damaged, destroyed or lost luggage-- limits set far below the value of even low-grade, factory violins.
The TSA has written a letter, distributed by the AFM to its members, requesting that airline personnel accomodate professional musicians travelling with their instruments. But Delta's employees routinely ignore that request and the airline's policy has been to check all musical instruments, regardless of the airline's inability to care for them properly in the baggage hold.

In an article in the June 2006 issue of Internation Musician, AFM President Thomas F. Lee wrote, "The Federation has spoken with Delta's representatives, but without success. It appears that Delta has no concern about instrument damage. As a result, the AFM, its members, and all musicians must take a different approach to this problem. We must publicize this unfair treatment."

I don't even want to think what they'd do if anyone like these guys showed up at one of their gates!

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At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

I suppose if there was a "worser" major airline in the US, United just merged with it- Contental, but if I could donate my rare Delta miles to someone that use them to go harrass Delta at their board meetings i would.

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous me said...

I'm sure there's a totally reasonable explanation for why all the U.S. carriers now offer the worst service in the skies


Once again, republican theories have proved themselves worthless.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delta damaged my trombone when we were told we had to check it. I watched from the window as the employee first dropped me trombone, then left it on the ground, and finally threw it onto the conveyor belt. Delta needs to change it's policy regarding musical instruments to ensure that no further damage is done.


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