Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Nine Muslim passengers were kicked off a flight from Washington, D.C., to Florida after other passengers reported hearing a suspicious remark about airplane security.
AirTran Airways spokesman Tad Hutcheson called the incident on the New Year’s Day flight from Reagan National Airport to Orlando, Fla., a misunderstanding, but defended the company’s response. He said the airline followed federal rules and did nothing wrong.
The AP has the story here.
Any similarity between this story and the one from Minneapolis in 2006 is purely… their point.
“It was an ordeal,” said Abdur Razack Aziz, one of those detained said. “Nothing came out of it. It was paranoid people. It was very sad.”
All but one of the 9 are American citizens by birth.
Jeanne LeBlanc, who writes a travel blog for the Hartford Courant gives AirTran the “what for?”
The AirTran spokesman wants it both ways on this one. He told The Post the incident amounted to a misunderstanding, but said:
“At the end of the day, people got on and made comments they shouldn’t have made on the airplane, and other people heard them [and] misconstrued them.”
So which was it? They said things they “shouldn’t have?” Or they were misunderstood? Who determines what we “should” say? Is that different for people who look Muslim? Are we responsible for the way someone might misinterpret our innocent words?