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American Airlines CEO apologizes for pilot's comments on Christianity
Dallas Morning News ^ | 2/13/2004

Posted on 02/13/2004 11:08:18 AM PST by sinkspur

FORT WORTH - The chief executive of American Airlines has apologized after a pilot suggested that non-Christian passengers on a recent flight discuss the faith with Christians.

Gerard Arpey said the airline has grounded the pilot with pay while executives investigate the incident.

Arpey said he apologized to anyone who was offended by the pilot's comments on a flight from Los Angeles to New York.

"Let me assure you that we take this very seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation," Arpey wrote in a letter to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group that monitors anti-Semitism. He said American Airlines "promotes an environment of respect for the diversity of all persons, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation."

Foxman had written to Arpey that religious belief is a personal matter and the pilot had breached the privacy of passengers. He called the pilot's conduct "deeply troubling."

The airline said the Washington-based pilot asked passengers on the Feb. 7 flight to raise their hands if they were Christian. Speaking over the aircraft public-address system, he then suggested that other passengers use the flight time to talk to the Christians about their faith, an airline spokesman said.

An airline spokesman, Tim Wagner, said American was interviewing crew members and passengers who complained about the comments. The airline has also asked the pilots' union about the incident. Wagner declined to say whether American would disclose its final findings.

The pilot did not respond to an e-mail request for an interview.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: aa; americanairlines; apology; celebratediversity; spiritualjourney

1 posted on 02/13/2004 11:08:19 AM PST by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
Better to hear the pilot suggest talking about Christianity than hear "Allah Akbar" over the intercom. I'm sure all those fense-sitting non-religious types squirmed for 10 seconds or more....
2 posted on 02/13/2004 11:11:03 AM PST by evolved_rage (All your base are belong to us.)
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To: sinkspur
diversity of all persons, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation

The list just keeps getting longer..

3 posted on 02/13/2004 11:11:37 AM PST by tje
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To: evolved_rage
Better to hear the pilot suggest talking about Christianity than hear "Allah Akbar" over the intercom. I'm sure all those fense-sitting non-religious types squirmed for 10 seconds or more....

Imus played the tape this morning.
The pilot asked his brothers in Christ, who were probably all sitting in tourist class to witness to the Jews in first class.

It was way over the top.

So9

4 posted on 02/13/2004 11:14:42 AM PST by Servant of the 9 (Screwing the Inscrutable or is it Scruting the Inscrewable?)
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To: Servant of the 9
The pilot asked his brothers in Christ, who were probably all sitting in tourist class to witness to the Jews in first class.

Ahem, well that's wrong. Thanks for the info.

5 posted on 02/13/2004 11:17:49 AM PST by evolved_rage (All your base are belong to us.)
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To: evolved_rage
"Better to hear the pilot suggest talking about Christianity than hear "Allah Akbar" over the intercom. I'm sure all those fense-sitting non-religious types squirmed for 10 seconds or more....
"

Better that the pilot paid attention to his job and kept his personal beliefs to himself while on the job, IMO.
6 posted on 02/13/2004 11:20:18 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan
"Better that the pilot paid attention to his job and kept his personal beliefs to himself while on the job, IMO."

In a perfect world, the pilots will just STFU and fly the plane. As a frequent business flyer, I don't care how high or fast the silly plane is going. All I ever want to hear from the pilot is, "Folks, we'll be landing in 15 minutes." Other than that, FLY THE PLANE!
7 posted on 02/13/2004 11:26:15 AM PST by AlanSC
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To: AlanSC
"In a perfect world, the pilots will just STFU and fly the plane. As a frequent business flyer, I don't care how high or fast the silly plane is going. All I ever want to hear from the pilot is, "Folks, we'll be landing in 15 minutes." Other than that, FLY THE PLANE!"

You'll get no argument from me. I agree 100%.
8 posted on 02/13/2004 11:29:31 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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Something to ponder:

To: george wythe
"Fair point. I haven't thought about the possibility that some passengers might have thought about a hijacking-related segregation"

That was my _first_ thought as I read the statements...ID the Christians for killing.

I fly about once a month and have made certain preparations for a terrorist attack.. Had I been on this flight I would have immediately put some contingency plans into effect. It would have been a mess.

posted on 02/10/2004 3:31:44 PM PST by civil discourse

9 posted on 02/13/2004 11:36:18 AM PST by george wythe
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To: tje
The list just keeps getting longer..

One more:

"And, the usual jokes about the Army aside, one of the many fine things one has to admit is the way that the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion, in the sense that not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, and color, but also on the grounds of ability."

-- Tom Lehrer; musician, teacher, satirist, mathematician, and co-inventor of vodka jello (while in the Army).

10 posted on 02/13/2004 11:38:21 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: AlanSC
Oh, I'm with you 100% on talkative pilots. I don't care what's out the window, shut up and just get me where I'm going. I, too, fly all the time and am so weary of chatty pilots.
11 posted on 02/13/2004 11:52:36 AM PST by Endeavor
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To: antiRepublicrat
the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion, in the sense that not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, and color, but also on the grounds of ability

LOL! Cheap vodka shot.

12 posted on 02/13/2004 12:01:30 PM PST by george wythe
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To: Endeavor
I don't care what's out the window, shut up and just get me where I'm going.

I don't know. I think I'd be interested in "If you look out the window, you'll see that engine #3 is currently on fire."

13 posted on 02/13/2004 12:08:29 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: sinkspur
Foxman had written to Arpey that religious belief is a personal matter and the pilot had breached the privacy of passengers. He called the pilot's conduct "deeply troubling."

Foxman is dead wrong on this issue. He has no business in this case, none, zero, zip, nada.

14 posted on 02/13/2004 12:11:05 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: jim35; ClintonBeGone
FYI.
15 posted on 02/13/2004 12:16:24 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Servant of the 9
"His brothers in Christ, who were probably all sitting in tourist class to witness to the Jews in first class".

LOL,
well it's the power of compound interest, for as it is said:
"Jesus saves, but Moses invests."

16 posted on 02/13/2004 12:17:47 PM PST by John Beresford Tipton
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To: af_vet_1981
Foxman is dead wrong on this issue. He has no business in this case, none, zero, zip, nada.

Why? It wasn't the pilot's business to identify Christians (and thus identify non-Christians).

Findiesen, the pilot, is about to get a buyout, it would appear.

17 posted on 02/13/2004 12:18:15 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: sinkspur
Why? It wasn't the pilot's business to identify Christians (and thus identify non-Christians).

There was no attack on Jews. It has nothing whatsoever to do with stopping the defamation of the Jewish people. It simply tells me that Mr. Foxman is not serving the Jewish people in this case. He has his own agenda here.

18 posted on 02/13/2004 12:23:09 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: sinkspur
Foxman had written to Arpey that religious belief is a personal matter and the pilot had breached the privacy of passengers. He called the pilot's conduct "deeply troubling."

I agree that the pilot was a bit out of line, but it's painfully obvious that Foxman is just looking for excuses to indict Christians. The ADL's Christophobia would actually be quite funny, were it not for the damage it's done to Mel Gibson and his family.

19 posted on 02/13/2004 12:23:30 PM PST by MegaSilver
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To: MegaSilver; af_vet_1981
I agree that the pilot was a bit out of line, but it's painfully obvious that Foxman is just looking for excuses to indict Christians.

Oh, no doubt Foxman is showboating, but it was the action of the clueless pilot that allowed him to get on stage.

American cannot afford a loose cannon like this.

20 posted on 02/13/2004 12:26:21 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Servant of the 9
I don't think that tape was legit. It was probably an Imus put-on.
21 posted on 02/13/2004 12:30:03 PM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: sinkspur
Oh, no doubt Foxman is showboating, but it was the action of the clueless pilot that allowed him to get on stage. American cannot afford a loose cannon like this.

I don't think the behavior of the pilot was usual and customary and his appreciation for the seriousness of his responsibilities when piloting the aircraft should be probed, especially since he spooked his own flight crew. Nonetheless Foxman and the ADL should not be engaged in this at all.

22 posted on 02/13/2004 12:33:22 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: MegaSilver
were it not for the damage it's done to Mel Gibson and his family.

Damage ? What damage other than self-inflicted wounds do you see ? Foxman/ADL have a legitimate concern with the movie, Mel's public comments, and with Hutton Gibson's published views. They have no concern in this matter and should not become involved.

23 posted on 02/13/2004 12:36:00 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: sinkspur
Oh, no doubt Foxman is showboating, but it was the action of the clueless pilot that allowed him to get on stage.

Good point. This guy's actions were something of a written invitation for the ADL to come in on their high horse.

24 posted on 02/13/2004 1:20:19 PM PST by MegaSilver
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To: af_vet_1981
Damage ? What damage other than self-inflicted wounds do you see ? Foxman/ADL have a legitimate concern with the movie, Mel's public comments, and with Hutton Gibson's published views.

There's no doubt that Mel's father is a bit... well, I can't think of a polite way to say it, so I won't. But as far as Mel standing by his father, what else could he do? I mean, I don't agree with my father on everything--in fact, on a number of points I sharply disagree with him--but he's always been an excellent father. That's all I care about; I don't expect him to be perfect, because no one is.

And in the case of Mel's father, maybe he does have some deeply serious personal problems, but if he was a generally good father to Mel (which it seems he was), are his ridiculous beliefs good grounds for Mel to disown him?

25 posted on 02/13/2004 1:26:28 PM PST by MegaSilver
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To: sinkspur
You are really obessed with this story. When I see such actions from people like yourself I'm tempted to suggest you take the spec out of your own eye (church) before you mes with others.
26 posted on 02/13/2004 7:26:54 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: ClintonBeGone
You are really obessed with this story.

Just tryin' to keep you informed, CBG.

You can always just not respond if you're not interested.

27 posted on 02/13/2004 7:29:10 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: af_vet_1981
There was no attack on Jews. It has nothing whatsoever to do with stopping the defamation of the Jewish people. It simply tells me that Mr. Foxman is not serving the Jewish people in this case. He has his own agenda here.

Not unlike what Abe is/was doing to Mel Gibson.

28 posted on 02/13/2004 7:29:32 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: MegaSilver; sinkspur
The ADL's Christophobia would actually be quite funny, were it not for the damage it's done to Mel Gibson and his family.

Sink, you're part of the ADL, right?

29 posted on 02/13/2004 7:31:21 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: sinkspur
American cannot afford a loose cannon like this.

Is he any more dangerous to society than one of those Catholic priests you read about?

30 posted on 02/13/2004 7:33:26 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: ClintonBeGone
Is he any more dangerous to society than one of those Catholic priests you read about?

He's damaging to American Airlines' business, which is why, I think, he'll be offered an early retirement.

31 posted on 02/13/2004 7:34:59 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: sinkspur
You can always just not respond if you're not interested.

No, thanks. I certainly am interested. While we may disagree on this, I'm glad you invite me over.

32 posted on 02/13/2004 7:35:53 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: ClintonBeGone
Sink, you're part of the ADL, right?

No.

33 posted on 02/13/2004 7:35:57 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Servant of the 9
That's not what was reported by an eye witness, an editor at the Advocate, who was on the airplane.

The pilot asked the non-Christians to speak to the Christians.

Even the worst report from the complaining women on the day after the flight never mentioned "Jews."
34 posted on 02/13/2004 7:37:03 PM PST by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US)
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To: Servant of the 9
The pilot asked his brothers in Christ, who were probably all sitting in tourist class to witness to the Jews in first class.

It was way over the top.

And so is your assertion.

35 posted on 02/13/2004 7:37:10 PM PST by harrowup (So perfect I'm naturally humble)
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To: sinkspur
He's damaging to American Airlines' business, which is why, I think, he'll be offered an early retirement.

Too bad some other of society's institutions didn't have the same good sense, eh?

36 posted on 02/13/2004 7:37:25 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: ClintonBeGone
Not unlike what Abe is/was doing to Mel Gibson.

No. The cases are substantively different. This case has nothing whatsover to do with antisemitism. There was no attack against Jews. The Jewish people were not persecuted, raped, murdered, and exiled because some pilot suffered from irrational exuberance. He did frighten his flight crew for which he felt remorse or shame and apologized.

37 posted on 02/14/2004 4:57:09 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
No. The cases are substantively different. This case has nothing whatsover to do with antisemitism.

But I know Abe often feels there is antisemitism when Christians are singled out or gain particular attention in the public square.

38 posted on 02/14/2004 8:38:13 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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