Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) called Friday for the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate allegations Delta Airlines blocked Jewish passengers from flying as part of an agreement with a Saudi Arabian airline.
“I am deeply concerned by the June 23, 2011, report in USA Today entitled ‘U.S. Jews not able to fly on Delta flights to Saudi Arabia,'” Kirk wrote in a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “If true, this policy appears to violate the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause while undermining the purpose of the Federal Aviation Administration – to promote the safety and expansion of U.S. civil aviation.
“I request your investigation into this matter to determine whether Delta Airlines violated U.S. law or regulation and to ensure no U.S. citizen is denied their right to fly solely on the basis of their religion,” he continued. “Since a core mission of the FAA is to promote civil aviation, I would expect the FAA to use its full statutory and regulatory power to ensure that America’s civil airways are not restricted for persons regardless of faith.”
Delta sought to tamp down the controversy before Kirk’s letter, taking to its blog on the company’s website to respond to the report.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabian also moved Friday to try to dispel the rumors, saying in a statement that “rumors being circulated via the Internet regarding passenger flight restrictions on Saudi Arabian Airlines are completely false.
“The Government of Saudi Arabia does not deny visas to U.S. citizens based on their religion,” the Saudi statement said.
Is Delta claiming that if Saudi law is discriminatory and Delta is contracted with the Saudi’s that they have to discriminate and can claim they aren’t?
Would Delta ban the hijab on flights to France?