United Airlines makes an apology after in-flight discrimination claim

Published on : Thursday, June 4, 2015

United AirlinesAfter a flight attendant’s refusal to give an unopened can of soda to a Muslim passenger led to a social media firestorm. The incident left Tahera Ahmad in tears. United Airlines offered an apology to Ahmad on Wednesday.


A Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University, Ahmad, 31, was traveling Friday from Chicago to Washington for a conference promoting dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youths.


According to her she asked for an unopened can of Diet Coke, for hygienic reasons. But the flight attendant told her that she could not give her one but then handed an unopened can of beer to a man seated nearby. Ahmad questioned the flight attendant.


She recalled the flight attendant telling her, “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.”


The incident took place on a Shuttle America flight that feeds United.


According to Bob Birge, spokesman for Shuttle America’s parent company, Republic Airways Holdings, Republic beverage policy doesn’t prohibit serving unopened cans to passengers.


Ahmad wrote on Facebook that she was “truly disappointed” with the airline’s response, which she said “disregarded and trivialized” the discrimination she experienced.


4 Responses to United Airlines makes an apology after in-flight discrimination claim

  1. cgm says:

    I have been flying for 40 years and always asked for a full can – not once in all those years was it ever given to me closed – the crew always opened the can prior to serving – some people like to cry worse than baby in pain !!!

  2. becky leong says:

    I wish people quit using their minority status as a weapon. The UA flight attendant was told to serve free soda in a glass, not in a can. If you want to pay, such as the beer, obviously you can have a can. Don’t whin at what you cannot get, grow up, baby !

  3. Alicia says:

    these muslims are so sensible…..

  4. Hasan says:

    So what you are saying is that:
    a free drink cannot be served unopened as it can be used as a weapon
    but a paid for drink can be served unopened as it cannot be used as a weapon ?

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