Muslim chaplain from NU faces discrimination on United flight

Latest: United Airlines finally apologizes


While United did not operate the flight, Ms. Ahmad was our customer and we apologize to her for what occurred on the flight.
After investigating this matter, United has ensured that the flight attendant, a Shuttle America employee, will no longer serve United customers.
United does not tolerate behavior that is discriminatory – or that appears to be discriminatory – against our customers or employees.All of United’s customer-facing employees undergo annual and recurrent customer service training, which includes lessons in cultural awareness. Customer-facing employees for Shuttle America also undergo cultural sensitivity training, and United will continue to work with all of our partners to deliver service that reflects United’s commitment to cultural awareness.



A Muslim chaplain from Northwestern University said a United Airlines flight attendant made derogatory comments to her after she requested an unopened can of Diet Coke on a flight from Chicago to Washington D.C.

I am sitting on a United airlines flight in the air 30,000ft above and I am in tears of humiliation from discrimination….

Posted by Tahera Ahmad on Friday, May 29, 2015


Tahera Ahmad, an associate chaplain and director of interfaith engagement, relayed the alleged incident on Facebook while she was on the flight Friday night.

She told her followers she was in tears following the exchange, which she said prompted a passenger to swear at her and also make anti-Muslim remarks.

Earlier, Ahmad said the flight attendant had given her an opened can of Diet Coke.

When Ahmad requested an unopened can, the flight attendant told her, “Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.”

The same flight attendant then proceeded to give another passenger an unopened can of beer, Ahmad said.

Ahmad said she again asked the flight attendant why the man was able to receive an unopened beverage but she couldn’t.

The flight attendant, according to Ahmad, replied, “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.”

When Ahmad proceeded to tell the flight attendant she felt she was being discriminated against, the flight attendant quickly grabbed the man’s can, opened it and said, “It’s so you don’t use it as a weapon,” Ahmad said.

Stunned, Ahmad asked other passengers if they had seen what had transpired, prompting a man sitting in an aisle across from her to exclaim, “You Muslim, you need to shut the f— up,” Ahmad said.

“What?” a shocked Ahmad replied.

Then, Ahmad said, that passenger leaned over from his seat, looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Yes you know you would use it as a weapon, so shut the f— up.”

Read more.

Latest development – United Airlines downplays Tahera’s narrative:

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