View Full Version : Premiar captain refused 3 arabs

16th Oct 2001, 00:12
Premiar captain refused 3 arabs to bord the aircraft for a charterflight. He had to chose between them or a large group of the very scared pax.The Arabs had gone through the security 2 times.During the current situation I would have done the same thing.

Big Tudor
16th Oct 2001, 16:33
Sorry, but I find the actions (if true) to be totally over the top. If you go down the road of refusing pax because of their nationality then you are opening a very unsavoury can of worms.
Would you refuse travel to Irish because of the IRA, Spanish because of ETA, Germans because of Bader Meinhof????
If there is a real risk to security then pax should be offloaded and dealt with accordingly. But to refuse carriage to someone because of their name is scare-mongering...

16th Oct 2001, 16:52
If these pax were a threat, they should never have been allowed to get airside and board. Twice through security, why? There must be more to this story.

16th Oct 2001, 16:56
Heard on the news that apparently the Discrimination Ombudsman is looking into the matter.


16th Oct 2001, 17:28
The three men, of which two were swedish citizens, had checked in and gone through the security check, boarded the airplane and then "acted in a nervous manner", whatever that means.
All three had bought their tickets the day before departure.

The Captain then questioned the men as to why their had bought their tickets that late and if their knew each other. The police was called and they checked the men again. Finding nothing suspicious.
The Captain then elected to offload the three men.

16th Oct 2001, 17:54
Just remember -
1. We don't know the whole story.
2. The captain's decision is final!

16th Oct 2001, 18:45
Just for information.

The reason for offloading the 3 arabics on the Premiair flight, was that they refused to take their seats and fasten their seatbelts when instructed to by the cabin crew. Instead they where moving around in the cabin. One of them with a arabic book in stretch arm......I salute the captains decision!!!nullnull (http://null)[LIST]

16th Oct 2001, 19:00
>>The reason for offloading the 3 arabics on the Premiair flight, was that they refused to take their seats and fasten their seatbelts when instructed to by the cabin crew. Instead they where moving around in the cabin.<<

If you've ever flown with Arab pax you know that this is not uncommon. Like South Americans, they view the flight attendants as servants and often disregard their instructions. On the other hand, Germans, for example, march to the orders of the cabine fuhrer like good soldiers. Some of this is cultural.

Of course, in the modern politically correct world, everbody is supposed to be same-same. Except when they demand preference over straight white males <g>.

16th Oct 2001, 20:15
If it's true, as OY alleges, that they refused to belt up when told to, the crew were legally and operationally entitled (and right) to disembark them.

Passengers have to abandon cultural tendencies if they happen to break the law or clash with reasonable airline safety SOPs. If they elect not to do the latter, they forfeit their right to be passengers. They can go back landside and be as culturally true to their heritage as they like.

The fact that they also happened to be Arabs would not work in their favour at a time like this, and I feel sad that the world should have gone this way, but it has done.

Any sign of the Muslim faith is now also, sadly, a disadvantage to those Muslims who wish to fly peacefully.

Right now, if a man even of white caucasian appearance was on my flight and got out his prayer mat at sunset and began bowing Mecca-wards in the aisle, despite my natural liberalism my new-found paranoia would start to win. I'd be watching the guy for the rest of the flight, wondering if he was preparing for the imminent Seventy Virgins instead of leaving the time of his death, as normal Muslims do, to the will of Allah.

16th Oct 2001, 20:33
I don't believe in disembaring pax because they are arabs, or because they make others nerveous. Not following the instructions from cabin crew is something else. I don't care what cultural background you have. When asked to sit and buckel up. Thats what you do, or suffer the consequences!

Lets not buy into this polarization. This is not a religious issue, but a crazy man with too much money and power. He is the type we would see in 007 movies.

My sympaties goes to the guyes loosing their jobs over this. Hang in there

16th Oct 2001, 20:43
The three men involved says in interviews that the cabin crew at no point told them specifically to sit down and fasten their seatbelts. There was just the normal safety briefing, with which they complied.

One of them, who was seated some rows infront of the other two, at one point got up and walked back to his friends to get a book.

They were then told by the cabin crew, that the Captain wanted to speak to them.
He asked them some questions, the police checked their luggage and passports, and found nothing. They were then told to leave the airplane by the Captain.

16th Oct 2001, 21:35
Here's a scenario for you.

It is one week after WTC.

160 pax, almost all on board. Dispatcher advises you at STD -5 that 'there is a security problem with the last passenger'.

He explains that a group reservation was made for 6 people. It has just now been noticed that all 6 checked in separately, and unlike a regular group booking they did not ask to be seated together.
Five of them are now on board.

They are scattered throughout the cabin.

As this was 'suspicious' the last member of the group was stopped by an alert agent at the gate. He asked the passenger (of Pakistani origin) to open his carry on bag. Inside the bag they find a large wad of fundamentalist Islamic literature decrying the US and Indian involvement in the Kashmir, quoting Koranic verses regarding how to deal with 'those who fight you' and proposing the vision of a 'liberated Kashmir'.

You are the Captain on this flight.

What do you do?

Devils Advocate
17th Oct 2001, 00:32
How about...... living in a democracy I'd apply one of its finer features and invite the other pax to vote on whether or not to allow these gentlemen (?) to travel...... :eek:

17th Oct 2001, 01:01
BZZZZZZZ...Wrong Answer!

Any other takers?

17th Oct 2001, 01:15
Years ago, my Dad threw Leila Khaled (the infamous palestinian hijacker) off one of his flights as he felt she was a potential threat to the safety of the aircraft. I would have done the same.

Why is it that restaurants, bars, clubs and other institutions have the right to refuse entry, yet the airlines feel obliged to accept anyone with a ticket? What ever happened to "Right Of Admission reserved"?

An Hispanic friend of mine gets off aircraft if anyone on board is darker than him, but is unable to speak Spanish. Saved his butt at least once.

All power to the Premair man. Good on you.

17th Oct 2001, 01:46
Of course that's what we'd all chose to do if possible, but on what grounds?

Remember these people have been sold tickets, been checked in (therefore a contract exists with them for carriage). They've been through the full rigors (!) of airport security (in a major euro airport) and have behaved themselves impeccably (so far).

They have also done nothing illegal...carrying nasty literature is not a criminal offence!

So on what grounds do you off-load them?
Pure prejudice?

Would your company back your actions when they sue?

17th Oct 2001, 02:46
These are not normal times Maxalt.To talk in terms of suing is complete nonsense-I'm afraid all this PC stuff is out the proverbial cabin window now.All passengers will not be treated the same for blindingly obvious reasons.

Courts cannot deal with this- the ultimate "judges" are those who are potential victims of any other these suicidal maniacs -the pax.
Lets remember there have already been further attacks threatened

I'm sorry but if you are an Arab or anybody who even remotely looks like a potential terrorist, then people not unsurprisingly ARE going to look twice at you.

The rights of the many outweigh the few.

Don't blame human nature, blame the fundamentalist dross who caused all this.

17th Oct 2001, 02:59

Yeah a contract exists for carriage. But not necessarily ON THAT FLIGHT. Disembark 'em, get them re-checked, use the resources available. Offload the problem to the security professionals, get on with your day.

17th Oct 2001, 04:12
Hey :mad:
That miserable little weasel and his sorry ass Al Quaida is gettig us exactly where wants us. Pranoid as hell !!!
Of course the captain's decision is final but do remember 99,8% of Muslims have nothing to do with that Al Quaida outfit or any other Terrorist Group

You can also cross the steet an get hit by a car, so why dont we just get on with our lives and focus perhaps on how can we get our beloved Airline Industry out of this mess. :mad: :mad: :mad:

17th Oct 2001, 09:58
Gotta disagree on this one - in the US last week a flight was diverted as two "middle eastern looking men" were disturbing pax sense of safety by engaging in scary religious rituals - turned out they were two Jewish pax praying. If we throw pax off a flight based on appearances or nationality we cross the line into racial discrimination - most "middle eastern looking" people or even documented Muslims are not crazed terrorists and should not be treated as such without reasonable cause. The other option is what the Chinese have done in banning all middle eastern pax from entering the country - is that what we want?

one four sick
17th Oct 2001, 11:47
It is simply unarguable.
If a captain is not happy about a certain passenger(s), even if it's because his looks or possible religion he has the unquestionable right to refuse entry.

No room for liberalism over this subject!

I want to see more muslims condemning the WTC attacks in huge demonstrations all over the world. I want those bl*ody Palestinians that were jubilating on the streets of dustland on THAT day to come on telly and apologise.

Until there's a major change as above, I will refuse whomever I want! I trust no one!

New Bloke
17th Oct 2001, 12:09
I think like most woolly liberals I have had to review my feelings over the last month or so. This action by the Captain could be viewed as Racist, HOWEVER, non-Racist people now have to perform racist deeds. In light of the awful events of Sep 11th self preservation MUST come first. Throw them off, get on with your flight, get on with your life.

Any Company MUST back the actions of their staff in these dark days, not to do so would be paramount to usurping the Captains Authority.

17th Oct 2001, 12:10
MaxAlt in light of present circumstances and aware that feelings worldwide are running high would explain to pax that the matter is going to be investigated further. Investigate other members of the party and if not satisfied with the results ask the party to take another flight. That is what the public is entitled to and part of the duties we are required to exercise our judgement over, the safety of the flight.

17th Oct 2001, 12:11
Recently had a flight where a single arab looking man was given the last row all to himself, the rear cabin attendants asked im if he was going to give us any trouble, the poor guy sat in his seat with his hands on the table the whole flight!!!!!
Instaed of all the media hype, we should take a page out of a certain ex south african ministry book and quietly arrest and "lose" the most noticable protesters. what do you think of these people who live on the dole in your country and celebrated publicly the wtc attack???
We should introduce sleeping gas into the cabin before departure and then No worries maties!!!!
at the last count it was terrorists 4500 USA 210
USA! USA! USA! :mad:

17th Oct 2001, 12:29
one four six - how I agree that we need to hear more condemnation from the muslim leaders.

Did you watch Panorama on BBC last Sunday? It was called Koran & Country. You can see the programme or read the transcript at:-

Koran & Country (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/audiovideo/programmes/panorama/newsid_1581000/1581653.stm)

I was amazed to hear some of the comments which were being made and feel sure that in any other context people would be held up for "incite to riot" or "racial harassment, etc".

If you watch the programme you can also post comments at the website.

Finally, as has been said aircraft commanders have the absolute right to refuse anyone travel and should certainly do so if there is anything in their psyche which leads them to be uneasy - the stakes are just to high! If in doubt, check it out!

17th Oct 2001, 14:15

How on earth does your Hispanic friend ever get anywhere, if he deplanes at the sight of a darker skinned passenger than him?. I would contend that on just about every flight that operates anywhere, there'll be at least one black passenger who isn't a native Spanish speaker. Also does he quiz each darker skinned passengers on his way down the aircraft before taking his seat to see if they are proficient Spanish speakers. Does he consider the crew?.

17th Oct 2001, 20:02
In fear of being labeled a liberal - which would be a hard thing to take for a dyed in the wool conservative - I disagree with anyone having the right to not allow boarding to anyone based on race, religion or looks or bad vibes or funny feelings or whatever. If there is a demonstratable reason to suspect someone, pitch them from the plane headfirst without benefit of airstairs but don't deny boarding to someone whose only crime is to look middle eastern. Maybe as a pax and not flight crew I just see this from a different angle but if anyone is arbitrarily banned from a flight we all have given up a bit of our rights. On the subject of those who celebrate the cold blooded murder of 5000 innocent civilians including untold numbers of believers of Islam in the WTC on 9-11 - you should be on your knees begging for forgiveness from the civilized world - MURDER IS NOT A RELIGIOUS ACT!

17th Oct 2001, 20:54
The security services were indeed contacted. They attended the a/c quite quickly.

They interviewed the individual with the 'fundamentalist literature'. Here is a link to the website belonging to the authours of his literature; http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.org/english/english.html

The security services detained him, and interviewed the rest of the group. They stated they were satisfied to allow the others to travel, advising that the rest were not connected with this person except through business. I can't give more detail but I was happy with the explanation I got.

This whole incident took two hours to resolve and caused great distress to the other pax in spite of the best efforts made to reassure them.

While I agree with the comments being made about the extraordinary circumstances we face at the moment I still feel that the law (as it still stands) does not assist a Captain in making a pure 'judgement call' with no other firm grounds to back up refusal of carriage.
Whether get away with it will depend on how you personally handle things and on how your legal department view your actions (and whether your management choose to side with you).

I personally would recommend a quiet word with the security people to make sure they need to interview the individuals in question properly. :D In the Terminal! :D
While you go on your merry way (sans the bags off course). ;)

18th Oct 2001, 00:14
From the handling agent at Stockholm - the passengers would not take the seats as they been allocated seats far apart from each other - one I understand was a child. In my experience it is quite normal for passenger to refuse to take their seats until the Cabin Crew help sort it out.

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: swedish ]

18th Oct 2001, 11:41
Without knowing the full background of the story, IMHO it is a very worrying thought that anyone has been denied access to board an aircraft solely on the base of his origin and looks!

I sincerely hope for you that you will never have to do any flights to the Middle East, Africa,.... Continue flying from Houston to Des Moines, because that's where you belong. :rolleyes:

one four sick
18th Oct 2001, 12:11


"it is a very worrying thought that anyone has been denied access to board an aircraft solely on the base of his origin and looks!"

If you are happy to carry 6 Mohammads very LIBERALLY on your flight that have all bought tickets the same morning and have a problem later, then remind me who you work for so I don't get on your flight ok?


Thanks for the link I'll check it out.

31st Oct 2001, 03:19
If I suspected a security problem with one of our passengers I would expect them to be offloaded (with baggage), questioned by security and then possibly put on a later flight. Full stop. No question. I would not want my passengers, crew or myself to be put in the kind of danger seen on September 11th.

There are many risks when flying but at least a dodgy passenger is one that we can address then and there on the ground.