Ugh: Alaska Airlines’ “Flying While Muslim” Incident

Filed Under: Alaska

Alaska Airlines is being called out for kicking two Muslim men off a plane for… texting in Arabic?

Alaska Airlines kicked off two Muslim men

This incident goes back to February 17, 2020, when two men were flying Alaska Airlines first class from Seattle to San Francisco on a business trip. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is now calling on Alaska Airlines to address this “flying while Muslim” incident. The men have been seeking an apology from Alaska Airlines for 10 months, but haven’t gotten anywhere.

Here’s what the two men are claiming:

  • One of the two men exchanged a few text messages with a friend in Arabic
  • A fellow passenger reported these texts to a flight attendant as suspicious, despite the fact that the passenger didn’t speak Arabic, and could only identify a few emojis and numerals
  • Due to the passenger’s complaint, the plane was delayed, and the two men were taken off and questioned
  • The texts were translated, and a Port of Seattle Police Officer noted in a police report that “there was no threat of any kind”
  • After it was determined there was no security threat, the airline took several “humiliating and distressing steps”
  • All passengers were deplaned past the two men, who were being questioned by the TSA and FBI, and all passengers had to undergo another security screening
  • The airline screened all cargo with a K-9 unit and even emptied the first class lavatory tank, simply because one of the men had used the lavatory while waiting for the delayed flight
  • Even after it was determined that the two men weren’t a threat, they didn’t allow the men to take their original flight, instead rebooking them on a later, separate flight

Here’s how an attorney for CAIR describes the decision to come forward now:

“When the incident first happened, we expected that Alaska would come through with the refunds they promised and apologize. We didn’t go public at that time because the clients wanted to give Alaska some time to make amends. All they really wanted was a sincere apology and assurances that this would not happen to anyone else. Had they received that, we wouldn’t be coming forward now. But they didn’t, and then COVID-19 hit. With airlines being an industry so hard-hit by the pandemic, our clients didn’t want to cause Alaska Airlines additional harm by going public at that time. But now that the vaccine has been approved and people will inevitably get back to traveling, it has become more important than ever that we get assurances that Alaska will not treat any other Muslim travelers the way they treated our clients. That’s why we’re coming forward with their story now.”

This sounds absolutely disgraceful

First of all, we should acknowledge that this is just one side of the story, and you know, “innocent until proven guilty.” However, the police report does suggest “there was no threat of any kind,” which makes me assume that this was more of a misunderstanding than anything else, at best.

My initial assumption is that there must be more to the story. Surely nobody is kicked off a plane just for texting in a foreign language? But then I’m reminded of the fact that this is the umpteenth story of “flying while Muslim.”

I’ve written so many times about other incidents, where Muslim passengers were viewed as “suspicious,” when something similar from a non-Muslim wouldn’t arouse any concern. Heck, just over a year ago two Muslim men were kicked off an American Eagle flight because they waved to one another, and because one used the bathroom before departure and flushed twice.

So we’ll see how this situation evolves. If it’s exactly as presented then I’ll be really sad for how Alaska Airlines handled this situation. It’s bad enough to cave in to someone calling a text in a foreign language “suspicious.” It’s even worse to deplane and question them with no evidence. And then the worst is that they didn’t let them continue on the flight even when it was determined that they didn’t pose a threat.

So while I hope there’s more to the story, based on history I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not.

I fully recognize that as a white dude I have a lot of privilege when it comes to flying. When I review flights I’m often walking fast down the jet bridge, snapping dozens of pictures of the cabin, etc., and no one bats an eyelid (well, except on Lufthansa and TAAG Angola). 😉 Unfortunately if I were Muslim, it would probably be a different story.

Bottom line

Two Muslim men claim to have been kicked off an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco in February 2020, simply because one of them was texting in Arabic, and another passenger found that to be suspicious.

The two men ended up being deplaned and questioned, all passengers ended up being security screened again, the lavatory tanks were emptied, the K-9 unit searched cargo, and the two men weren’t even allowed back on board after having been cleared of all wrongdoing.

I’ll be curious to see how this unfolds…

Comments
  1. Insert “But why does everything have to be about race, religion and culture these days? Can’t we just move on?” comments in 3..2..1…

  2. Islamophobia is a tired and irrational fear. I’d group these people that don’t care about the statistical significance of a “threat” with anti-vaxxers and BLM.

  3. Ben, have you by any chance read the LA Times article on fume events? I’d like to see your take on the matter. It’s quite concerning, to say the least

  4. Alaska handled the aftermath poorly (I mean geez, how hard is it to apologize and comp a free flight). That said, I’m totally fine with how they handled the initial report from the concerned passenger. I also think it was proper for TSA to conduct an aggressive search. Don’t let reality stop you from manufacturing outrage on the internet though.

  5. @ david — Do you have access to some information I don’t have access to? You’re fine with people being searched because they dared to text in Arabic? That’s “suspicious” to you? I often text my parents in German, perhaps I should also be taken off planes for my suspicious behavior?

  6. @David, what is wrong or suspicious about texting or speaking Arabic or any other language for that matter? This shouldn’t have occurred in the first place.

  7. @Cind. Guess you have not traveled to France, or, well anywhere in the EU lately. It’s not just an American problem. Rest assured.

  8. As a brown person, it’s also about knowing that certain actions will likely be viewed as suspicious by people who don’t know better (pretty much the entire American public). As you said, this story is one-sided, but given the world situation, I would hope they’d know better.

    I wouldn’t go around wearing the gold svastik pendant I was given as a child (a sacred symbol in eastern religious traditions), similar in appearance of course to the Nazi hakenkreuz/hooked cross (for which the term swastika was later misappropriated by a catholic priest to draw attention away from its Christian origin, and wasn’t used as a term by the Nazis themselves. And Krystallnacht was celebrated in honor of Martin Luther’s birthday, owing to his own anti-Semitic beliefs, but I digress).

  9. @Ben. You can text in any language. I care less. A white non Muslim German never blew up a plane or killed people on a plane, or blew up a building etc etc. If I recall all these were done by Arab Muslims. Am I profiling? I am.

  10. many airline pilots are right wing Fox news (or Newsmax) loving nut jobs, full of anger and convinced that Muslims are all evil and China made/intentionally spread Coronavirus.

    This is why stuff like this happens.

    Airlines need a well trained ground manager to handle these situations at the gate.

  11. Why are people so afraid of people communicating in foreign languages? Say the texting wasn’t a factor in this incident. Where are those freedom of speech advocates when people happen to be bilingual or trilingual or so on?

    I’m Canadian. My wife is Cambodian. We speak to each other in Mandarin (we’re ethnically Chinese). We write in Chinese. I can read these same characters in four different dialects of Chinese. But even growing up in open multicultural Canada, I was told in my face that I should “ideally speak English”. Do you not understand me as I’m writing this?

    If the case really does conclude as a result of a text that isn’t in English, there is a special kind of sadness I have for the United States. Freedom and free expression isn’t just in one language.

  12. This sounds like an extremely poorly handled situation. That being said, Ben you should attend services at any Mosque in the US with your husband. I’m sure you’ll be greeted with open arms.

  13. Thanks for shedding light on this, Lucky. Disgraceful is the word. My wife is an Arabic speaker, and I’d hate for her to have this happen if she was texting a family member.

  14. I fully recognize that as a white dude I have a lot of privilege when it comes to flying.

    Wasn’t aware Muslim was a color.

    Board your flight in SFO with a red MAGA hat on and see how far your white dude privilege gets you. 🙂

  15. @ Roman — I recognize the difference between a race and a religion. Unfortunately others don’t, and that’s where the problem with profiling comes from.

  16. @ Fatty Bao — And where is that line drawn? Maybe just don’t let Muslims fly at all, because “better safe than sorry?”

  17. @ john cocktosin — I’m not sure what me attending a service in a mosque has to do with anything? And are you suggesting that all churches in the US would be welcoming of me as a gay guy with a husband?

  18. A lot of the commenters here are perfectly fine with curtailing the liberties of people who don’t look like them…
    But when it involves them (e.g. putting on a mask) it’s oppressive injustice.

  19. Since 9/11 islamophobia is on the rise and honestly it’s bluntly and proudly presented by far too many and too many don’t care at all. It’s not a matter of white privilege it’s a matter of if you accept racism and that a whole religion is blamed and targeted.

  20. America is so weird. You have a president who is killing more than three thousand Americans but you are afraid of two men texting in Arabic.

  21. @Ben “Where is that line drawn?” Wherever everyone is safe. And wherever everyone feels safe. That comes a very high price – long lines at TSA, extra security checks for US bound flights, paranoid (often ignorant) passengers. What do you propose? Have a diversity ombudsman investigate every complaint to determine whether it should be taken seriously? Overcaution is the best precaution.

  22. Islam is only pretending to be a religion on the surface. On the inside it is a brutal ideology of conquest that is the diametral opposite of all values of the Free World™.

    After numerous terror attacks committed by members of this cult who have (mostly illegally) migrated to the West you can’t blame Westerners to be vary and cautious.
    It’s all up to the migrants to prove that they have no bad intentions. The easiest way is to integrate into the host society and the local culture, especially using the local language.

  23. @all those who are accusing others of islamophobia:

    The Chinese got it right: They are calling you ‘Baizuo’.

  24. @ Fatty Bao — Then maybe we should all stop flying? As noted by Arun, how would you deal with the Germanwings pilot who committed suicide and killed all the other passengers with him? He’s also far from the only non-Muslim pilot to who have done that.

  25. @David, @Endre, thanks for talking sense. If I may, I’d like to expand in your points – All white men with guns should be killed as soon as they are seen with guns cuz all domestic terror attacks on US soul otherwise known as mass shootings are carried out by “crazy” white men.

  26. Germanwings incident = individual person with diagnosed psychological problems. The failure was that he was not removed from his job when these problems appeared first.

    Numerous Islamic terror attacks all over the US & Europe = perfectly healthy persons who have committed their crimes, murders, … only because of their destructive ideology called Islam.

    That’s a BIG difference. And of course one is a single case while these islamic terror attacks are not just a series but a pattern over more than 1000 years now.

    There is a reason why the Spanish people had their ‘Reconquista’ and the Austrians fought like lions to stop the Turkish from entering the core of Europe.

  27. @Max and @Fatty Bao, I guess you are forgetting Christchurch, Las Vegas concert, Sandy Hook, black churches in south, Aurora movie theater, to name just a few. Taking away guns is violation of your rights but questioning someone because they texted in their native language is for safety.

  28. @David

    You are fine with people being taken off a flight for speaking or texting in a foreign language? Seriously? Wtf.

  29. @Max

    With regards to your post at 1:50 pm, well-said! It is a great pity the Christians of Britain who came to India didn’t bother to show they didn’t have “bad intentions”, or “attempt to integrate into the host society and the local culture, especially using the local language”, eh? After numerous acts of bigotry you can’t blame Easterners for being wary and cautious.

    Same for the visitors to the New World.

  30. So I am guessing that some of the commentators here would have not problem with all white men (which I am one) driving moving trucks being stopped and their cargo inspected? After all it was white males responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing (I was there in October and visited the site).

  31. White men blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, and regularly shoot up schools, movie theaters, and concerts, killing hundreds — yet they don’t get profiled. What gives?

  32. @Adil
    Exactly! Throughout human history wars & conquests haven been and still are ubiquitous. We have deeply inherited the sense of being vary of foreigners/aliens who are coming to our area.

    It is therefore absolutely wrong to shame someone for ‘islamophobia’ or other -phobias. All these people want to do is defending their homelands from hostile intruders.

    The most powerful participant wins the war. It would be a shame if the technological and in many other ways superior western culture would lose to backwards Islam just because the current leftist zeitgeist is inferior to the ruthless Islamic powerplay.

  33. @Ben — This is equal parts about minimizing security risks and making people feel safe. No measure is foolproof. And a handful of measures are counterproductive (Germanwings). But the problems caused by the LACK of security measures outweigh the problems caused by the abundance of them in the post 9/11 world. You are more than welcome to stop flying in protest and to prove you’re woke — please continue writing a blog about missing United employees, quacks who feign discrimination worth millions of dollar for a bloody nose as a result of disobeying the law, and maybe start doing unboxing videos of credit cards on YouTube and critique their packaging to the same neurotic level of detail which you reserve for cappuccinos on airplanes and I’ll still be here for a good laugh. But if “see something, say something” is our motto, then the police better well DO something too when citizens play their part. I don’t care how absurd the complaint is, it better be investigated thoroughly to keep our skies safe.

  34. You poor incredibly lost Americans realize there are about 4x as many muslim people in the world than you. All terrorists huh?
    Afraid of two guys speaking Arabic, but not covid.
    It’s embarrassing, or at least it should be.

  35. Ben,

    you are right to bring up these cases. This reminds me of the case of Guido Menzio, an Italian professor at the Pennsilvania university. He was flying in May 2016 on an American Airlines plane from Philadelphia to Syracuse. The lady passenger sitting next to him became suspicious as he was scribbling equations on notepad. She took the equations to be Arabic and alerted a flight attendant ! She must also have assumed that the Mediterranean look of the professor was not very different from an Arab one.

    The plane, that was taxing to the runway, returned to the gate, Mr Menzio was taken off the plane and questioned by security. He explained that he had been writing a differential equation he wanted to discuss in a seminar he was attending.

    Here I quote from a news article : “As Menzio sat waiting for the rest of the passengers to board the plane, he began to work through a series of differential equations — complex-looking equations commonly used by those who mathematically model systems such as national economies. Menzio rebuffed an effort at small talk from the passenger next to him, according to the Washington Post: “Is Syracuse home? She asked. No, he replied curtly. He similarly deflected further questions. He appeared laser-focused — perhaps too laser-focused — on the task at hand, those strange scribblings.”

    Menzio was allowed to return to the plane after American Airline agents determined he posed no threat, while the passenger who reported him was re-booked onto another flight. The incident drew serious viral attention and outrage at the time, in part due to the belief that Menzio “looked” Middle Eastern and was profiled by the other passenger for this reason.

    This tale continues to be spread in meme form years after the fact. And it continues to be true.”

  36. While I sympathize with those mistreated here, the TSA should ALWAYS have the right to search anything or anybody they deem necessary, no matter what. When you create a rule or precedent limiting their right, one day a mistake will let a terrorist through.
    I am aware of well meaning Israelis treated in a similar way, based on a Semitic sounding language and olive skin tone.

  37. @Max

    Islam is only pretending to be a religion on the surface. On the inside it is a brutal ideology of conquest that is the diametral opposite of all values of the Free World™. Really?

    You mean diametrical? Learn English, scratch Islam, insert ‘Christianity’, and tell this to the Incas, the Aztecs, Africans, Asians. Don’t be so blind to the horrors perpetrated by your own group. Free World, my foot.

  38. @Max “it is wrongful for people to shame with phobias” is honestly an all-timer for me to read in a comment section. You expect me to not shame homophobes when their entire ethos is shaming me, a gay man? Same with Islamophobes, there is absolutely no place for that in society and I will continue to shame ignorant people who are hateful to others for absolutely no reason other than that they’re just unwilling to have an ounce of compassion for people unlike themselves. You not only have an incredible amount of irrational hate in your heart but you’re also advocating for making my flight late for no reason other than somewhere dare communicate in their native language, which makes you uniquely infuriating.

  39. Remember TWA 847?
    I remember an incident where terrorists were onboard. TWA was brought up to date by El Al security which detected the problem and denied them boarding. When TWA was made aware the Pilot asked them to step forward and asked them if they had any weapons or plans to be disruptive. They denied both, were seated and behaved till after takeoff.
    They then hijacked the flight.
    Take any precautions deemed necessary, then allow those involved to fly and apologize.

  40. Why are people and @Ben so determined to not follow orders of authorities and the police here lately? First Dao, now this? This isn’t about race it’s about procedure and security protocols. Someone felt the need to say something, the FA did their job and told the captain, the captain told ATC, who then told the police and ordered the plane back to gate and questioned people. It’s just that. If you don’t like it – don’t fly. I am willing to put up with it. If you’re not, fly in a private jet

  41. Of course, all Muslims are Not terrorists. But ALL the terrorists on 9-11 were Muslim.
    If 9-11 had not happened we would not have the TSA and all the delays in air travel.
    I think a lot of people have forgotten or were too young to understand how life was before 9-11.
    Their dead lives and families do matter.
    And why can’t Americans act and dress the way they want while in Saudi Arabia? Oh, that’s right! We have to fit into their way of living in the ME.

  42. @donato excellent example. I wish more people realize that it’s all fun and games until your flight is hijacked. Even if this was some white frat boy sophomore at Alabama and someone said something, the same process should have happened. That’s how we ensure uniformity

  43. @Max

    How long before “the technological and in many other ways superior western culture” loses to supposedly backwards” China and India and their “powerplays”?

    The West may one day look back and say we had it good for 250 years or so!

  44. @Adil
    That’s exactly the problem. The West has brought forward most of the best technology and other things that advance society and make it better, however in the past 15+ years (if not even longer) it has taking culturally a wrong turn to the left.
    Prioritizing gender studies over engineering and real science, bringing forward a stupid business culture (that has enabled the 737MAX disaster and outsourcing too much to China for example) and erasing national identity in favor of open-border-politics for barrel-of-the-bottom immigrants that are unable to survive on their own.
    Additionally the west has created a culture that is hostile to raise families and therefore faces a big demographic problem.

    Because of this it is absolutely justified that China is overtaking the West, they are doing things better in general. India not so much, but that might change if they get their act together.

    But Arab-Turk-Islam taking over is a different ballpark: They are only advancing by pure violence (terror attacks), social welfare leeching as immigrants and having multiple kids to demographically defeat the West.
    It would be a big shame if the high-culture of the West would be defeated by such backwards people with such simple tactics just because the Baizuo have taken over culture.

  45. @endre

    Let’s not forget it was white non Muslim Germans That created the holocaust. Not Muslims. It’s easy for many of you keyboard warriors to spew your ignorance in the comfort of your homes when in reality you have no spine let alone any decency.

    Also almost every mass shooting in the US was done by some Christian white guy. But of course that’s different

  46. In today’s world, maybe Muslim passengers should do their utmost not to draw attention to themselves in order to avoid being accused of suspicious behavior. This might include writing, talking in Arabic etc. It’s a terrible indication of our society and I’m sure your readers will pounce on me, but that is the reality of the violent world in which we live.

  47. Typical of the PNW and Bay Area woke crowd. Gaslight us on twitter with how liberal they are but exclude us and do this kind of thing.

    Woke brigaders are damn liars.

  48. Islamophobia in the U.S. did not start with Trump, but his tweets perpetuate a long history of equating Muslims with terrorism It’s not the first time Trump has promoted Islamophobia. With rhetoric like “Islam hates us” and policies such as banning the entry of immigrants from Muslim- majority countries , Trump has reinforced the idea that Islam is a threat to the U.S.

  49. Really Indo? Comparing what Christianity did 500-700 years ago – you know 25 to 30 generations ago – to modern Islam? Christianity is one of the main reasons the world no longer has slavery and we care about being anti racist. Islam today is more or less where Christianity was 500 years ago. It has nothing to do with race – Islam is a religion and you can argue that middle easterners are white folks anyway.

    Yes there have been a handful of nut job whites that have blown up things, but the number of incidents in the name of Islam is 100x higher – and that’s not counting the undoubtably “racist” surveillance western society has done the last 40 years to limit said attacks.

    All that said, anyone who is worries because the person beside them is texting in another language is nutso. I’d guess there is a lot more to this story but likely we’ll never know for certain.

  50. My family immigrated to the US from Germany in the late 19th century. They continued to speak German and attend church in german right into the 1940s. But then, they stopped. They were too scared of what would happen to them if they were caught speaking the “enemy” language. That’s a tradition and a language I have no access to today, due entirely to irrational xenophobia. That’s what’s happening here, now, and there are far too many comments defending it in here.

  51. I like Arabs and think they are hospitable friendly people but man do some of them get angry at five star hotels when they don’t get their way. They blow a fuse and all of a sudden get a short temper. I need to know more about this story. What does Joe Biden think about this incident ?

  52. Some comments here show how backwards a good chunk of America is. Blatantly painting over a billion people with a wide brush and mixing religion with race and it’s no biggie. Wouldn’t be surprised if some hardcore nutjob rules the US in the near future.

    Glad to be European.

  53. Franklin– while , at least your family should be thankful you are white. if you had been other race, like Japanese, you would have been put into a camp.

  54. Why do people keep insulting Americans here? We have our problems and so do you. Lay off. This incident was wrong, but so are many in your country. Don’t hate us because we produce more GDP per capita or more intellectual property than anywhere else with more than 10 million population. Call us when you don’t pancake your next Mars rover due to a rounding error.

  55. The comments in this discussion are almost as bad as the ugly, irrational fear highlighted in the story above. What are these vile, racist islamophobes doing reading a blog about travel, the one activity that’s supposed to broaden people’s perspectives?

  56. @Nico

    You’re either ignorant or have no money to make a statement like that. What will happen when the central banks in Europe collapse ?

    @Miguel

    With a name like that what s***hole country are you from ? Do let us know.

  57. CAIR is known to be a anti Semitic org, according to the Anti Defamation League they are pro Hamas, a group labeled a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the USA and most of the world. I do not believe anything that CAIR becomes involved with.

  58. Ben,

    you should close the comments on this post. There are participants – see for instance the response to “Miguel” from somebody identifying himself as D3Kingg – who are unworthy of civilized discussions.

  59. As crazy as it sounds, in the eyes of the law Alaska will be vindicated. Didn’t they win in federal court after diverting to Reno and kicking some Jews off 15 years ago or so?

  60. @Al, perhaps you’re right. And perhaps women who don’t want to be harassed, even raped, should be certain to dress modestly, right?

  61. Alaska Airlines should ban the passenger who made the false and racist report.
    Then fire whoever made the decision to deplane these 2 men.

  62. @Fabio Colosanti

    Miguel bought that response upon himself. “Americans are ignorant a***holes”

    So may I not respond because it doesn’t fit your narrative. Is this the 2 tiered justice system you’ve longed for Fabio. Should Ben ban me from the OMAAT comment section ? But let’s protect Miguel

  63. @Fabio Colosanti

    Miguel bought that response upon himself. “Americans are ignorant aholes “

    So may I not respond because it doesn’t fit your narrative ? Is this the 2 tiered justice system you’ve longed for Fabio ? Should Ben ban me from the OMAAT comment section ? But let’s protect Miguel

  64. If I recall, Alaska Airlines had a similar incident last year at EWR gate, when a couple agents pulled the emergency alarm simply because they saw two Chinese passengers standing by the gate area (they were waiting to board the plane). I think these kind of things are happening on a fairly regular basis – it’s just about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether anyone here admits it or not, 9/11 will forever change how we view air travels and how we react to certain things – right, wrong or indifferent.

  65. @D3kingg

    Geez bubba, I leave this thread for half a day and you soil your pants. Ahhh, the outhouse is by the pig pin in your back yard. Judging by the Sh***hole comment, I am guessing you are a mobile home dweller somewhere in Frump country. Get over your visions of American grandeur and ask your girlfriend/sister to pet you on the head!

  66. Perhaps the reason everyone piles on Americans is because, on the whole, your country is full of racist selfish imbeciles.

    Yes your country produces great intellectual property but a) you have the largest population and b) it’s produced by the absolute top fractional minority of your population (whom admittedly are brilliant). But the remainder of your population supports a shameless dictator wannabe, wilfully and selfishly spreads covid all around the country and acts blatantly xenophobic whilst doing so. You absolutely should hang your heads in shame.

  67. @Aussie
    Shut up down their on your prisoner island. Australia’s culture is not better than American one, in fact no one would care about your island at all if it wasn’t for the good weather & beaches or the minerals that the Chinese are buying.

    The original place for Western culture is Europe.

  68. Ahh…the newspeak of Islamophobia.

    I wonder how many Muslim majority or heavily Muslim minority countries are accepting of gay people?

    How many have the death penalty for homosexuality vs countries of other faiths.

    How many established Mosques (not some rented out space in a community center or University student center) is accepting of LGBT people?

    Where is the Reform Islam or Episcopal version of Islam that has similar liberal beliefs in proportional numbers?

    The fact that as a man that is gay, I would be deemed irrational to be afraid of Islam’s assaults’ on my civil rights disproportionate to other religions is the height of preposterousness.

  69. I am not surprised, Alaska Airlines is the most racist airline in the United States. I avoid it even if it is the cheapest direct flight to my destination, and I live in Seattle, the homeground of Alaska. I am brown and I have a 100% record of feeling racially discriminated on an Alaska Airlines flight. Last time I travelled them on a work trip, they purposely skipped me when giving snacks, while giving them to all 5 other white people in my row. When I pointed out, they didn’t even apologize and handed over the snacks to me. If I want one US airline to bite the dust during this pandemic – its Alaska. This behavior is replicated on an international scale by Emirates – another airline discriminating against people of color, which is well documented.

    It almost feels like Alaska’s flight attendants are asked to discriminate on purpose. I am not surprised since it is a PNW-based airline, an area of USA which lacks diversity.

    Airlines I am yet to experience racism, in fact treated very well – Delta, Southwest. United and American in general have a “we don’t care” culture for everyone irrespective of color. Yet to travel by JetBlue, and finally I don’t even consider Spirit as an airline.

  70. Wow, the comments on this story are very disturbing, from each side of the aisle. And for a blog that is supposedly travel-related, there are many folks here that are woefully ignorant of the processes of travel and security.

    The comments on here remind me of the old saying “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

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