Americans have loud voices and we do the very best when we are speaking with our pocketbooks. It’s time to raise one of the loudest boycott cries we’ve ever raised and it needs to be aimed right at Delta Airlines because they are now refusing to allow Jews on their flights to Saudi Arabia. When overwhelmed with questions and emails about this Delta passed the buck and blamed Saudi policy saying:
We’ve gotten questions today from you, our concerned customers, following an article about Saudi Arabian Airlines joining SkyTeam (the global airline alliance that includes Delta as a member). After listening to many of your thoughts today, we’d like to take this opportunity to share some information and help to clarify some of the questions we know you have.
First and foremost, I think one of the most important things to mention here is that Delta does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against anyone in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender.
That said, some have raised questions about whether Saudi Arabian Airlines’ membership in SkyTeam means Delta is adopting any type of policies that could present barriers to travel for some passengers, including Jewish customers. For this particular concern, it’s important to realize that visa requirements to enter any country are dictated by that nation’s government, not the airlines, and they apply to anyone entering the country regardless of whether it’s by plane, bus or train.
We, like all international airlines, are required to comply with all applicable laws governing entry into every country we serve. You as passengers are responsible for obtaining the necessary travel documents, such as visas and certification of required vaccinations, and we’re responsible for making sure that you have the proper documentation before you board.
However, I don’t feel that shifting the blame is sufficient or anywhere close to it. Hot Air poses an opinion:
A Twitter friend notes that neither Delta nor any arm of the Saudi government has firmly said that Jewish passengers will have a problem obtaining visas or boarding a flight. Right, but as noted above, the Saudis once went so far as to single out Jews for nonadmittance to the Kingdom on their own tourism website. And it’s surpassingly strange that Delta has repeatedly refused to debunk this story despite multiple opportunities. If this is a big bunch of nothing, they could have issued a simple statement: “There’s nothing to these reports. Jewish tourists should have no trouble getting Saudi visas, and if they do have trouble, we’ll end our partnership with Saudi Arabia immediately.” They haven’t said that. Why?
I think that Rabbi Jason Miller sums it up quite succinctly when he writes:
The issue here is one of principle. Delta isn’t being forced to include Saudi Arabian Airlines into its Sky Team Alliance. In fact, Delta could stand on principle and refuse to include Saudi Arabian Airlines based on its discriminatory policy. No, it’s not Delta’s fault that the Saudi government is anti-Semitic, but it doesn’t have to go along with it. It’s as if the Saudis are telling Delta that when it comes to Jewish passengers it’s name should become an acronym: “Don’t Even Let Them Aboard.”
I know I’m not the only one who finds it troubling that Delta would go along with Saudi Arabia’s policy of not allowing Jews on their flights. While I’m not planning a vacation to Riyadh any time soon, I would have a hard time flying with Delta knowing they are collaborating with the discriminatory government of Saudi Arabia.
Would you like to express your (respectful) opinion to Delta? If so, you may do so here.