Delta Air fined $50,000 for booting off 3 Muslim passengers

Delta Air fined $50,000 for booting off 3 Muslim passengers
Delta denied any discrimination, but acknowledged that they could handled the situation better. Source: Delta Air
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Daily US Times, Ohio: Delta Air is being fined $50,000 for ordering three Muslim passengers off their planes despite the airline’s own security officials cleared them to travel.

Delta denied any discrimination but acknowledged that they could handle the situation better.

According to the U.S. Transportation Department’s consent order released on Friday, the airline violated anti-bias laws by removing the passengers in two separate cases and ordered the airline to provide cultural-sensitivity training to pilots, flight attendants and customer-service agents involved in the incidents.

Back in July 2016 in Paris, a passenger told a flight attendant that a couple made her nervous. The woman was wearing a headscarf and the man inserted something on his phone, claimed another passenger. The flight attendant said she walked by the Muslim passengers and saw the man writing “Allah” several times while texting on his phone.

The plane’s captain requested security officers to look into the matter. Following the request, Delta supervisor and security officer interviewed the couple outside the plane, but they reported that the couple ”raised no flags” and were cleared to fly. But the pilot refused the couple to let in the plane. The couple, both of them are US citizens flew back to their home in Cincinnati the next day.

Transportation Department said the couple would have been allowed to fly but for their “perceived religion.”

The couple was not named in the released consent order, but their representatives identified them as Faisal and Nazia Ali of the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.

Another case mentioned in the consent order took place five days later in Amsterdam. Flight attendants complained about a Muslim passenger, but the co-pilot and Delta’s security office found nothing unusual about the man.

The captain prepared to begin the New York-bound flight, but then returned to the gate and had the man and his bags removed and the area around his seat searched. The passenger was not subjected to further screening before boarding a later flight, which the Transportation Department said showed that his removal from the first flight was discriminatory.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations questioned the size of the penalty. The council represented the Alis.

Karen Dabdoub, executive director of CAIR’s Cincinnati chapter said the penalty is basically ”a slap on the wrist” for a company like Delta, which earned nearly $4.8 billion last year.

Karen though added that it is a good sign that the DOT took the cases seriously.

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