The headline reads: "Praying passenger is removed from plane" I figured it was some poor shmuck whose religion requires him to babble or mumble or something and someone smelled "terrorist". But no, he was a just praying, maybe even quietly.
The problem was, he was standing at the back of the plane prior to take off, he had begun a prayer, and apparently was unable to stop once he starts. The flight attendants told him to take his seat, but he ignored them. When he finally became responsive again, they had him removed from the plane.
Article here: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6087053 (link may get munged, copy and paste if so. [text at end of post])
So my question is, do you think the flight attendants were right to have him removed? Or should the whole thing sort of been "well, ok"'d and basically dropped?
I don't think I would've viewed the man as a threat. However he was breaking the law by disregarding the attendants. To just blow it off seems like an error to me. I'm not sure how I would've handled it, but I'm not at all dissatisfied with the flight attendants' response. I see it as a "breaking the law" issue, not a "prayer" issue. Exactly the same as if he'd been standing there reading and wanted to get to the end of the chapter before he sat down.
He was in the wrong.
Text of article:
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A passenger who left his seat to pray in the back of a plane before it took off, ignoring flight attendants' orders to return, was removed by an airport security guard, a witness and the airline said.
The Orthodox Jewish man, who wore a full beard, a black hat and a long black coat, stood near the lavatories and began saying his prayers while the United Airlines jet was being boarded at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday night, fellow passenger Ori Brafman said.
When flight attendants urged the man, who was carrying a religious book, to take his seat, he ignored them, Brafman said. Two friends, who were seated, tried to tell the attendants that the man couldn't stop until his prayers were over in about 2 minutes, he said.
"He doesn't respond to them, but his friends explain that once you start praying you can't stop," said Brafman, who was seated three rows away.
When the man finally stopped praying, he explained that he couldn't interrupt his religious ritual and wasn't trying to be rude. But the attendants summoned a guard to remove him, said Brafman, a writer who had been visiting New York to talk to publishers.
The plane, Flight 9 to San Francisco, took off without the man. It landed at its destination as scheduled, Brafman said by telephone from his home there.
Robin Urbanski, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, a subsidiary of UAL Corp. with headquarters in Chicago, confirmed the man was taken off the plane and put on another flight Thursday morning.
U rbanksi said flights cannot depart if all passengers are not in their seats, which risks a delay, and it is important that passengers listen to the instructions of the flight crew.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs area airports, and the Transportation Safety Administration, which handles airport security, said Thursday they weren't involved in the incident.