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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
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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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