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 non-Muslim 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.