Tuesday, October 23, 2007

United Apologizes to Orthodox Family

This is an interesting story, via JBM:
United Airlines says a flight attendant and pilot acted inappropriately when they complained about a Columbus family's kosher meal.

Robert Blum and his family, Orthodox Jews, say a flight attendant told them to throw away their fish dinner after other passengers complained about the smell during a flight from Denver to Columbus.

Blum says the flight attendant and pilot threatened to throw his family off the flight if they didn't get rid of the meal. Blum calls the incident a case of discrimination and says his family felt humiliated.

United Airlines said Friday that they are apologizing to the family.
That must be absolutely humiliating - imagine being asked to get off of a flight in front of everybody! (Of course, how do you throw someone off in the middle of a flight, anyway!?)

I will note one caveat, however: Nowhere is it clear that this was the meal given to them by the airline, in which case the actions are completely outrageous. Rather, it is possible that they brought fish onto the plane to eat because they weren't going to be getting any Kosher food on the plane. Obviously, this is perfectly within their rights, and perhaps they didn't realize that the smell would be so bad; however, people should use common sense about what kinds of foods they bring onto a plane to eat, and think about how others might react. I felt bad opening one of those tuna packages on a plane recently, though nobody seemed to notice; I think sandwiches generally make the most sense.

Either way, the threats of the attendant and pilot seem completely unreasonable.