Hajj pilgrims victimized as kaffir airline's flight leaves on time; Update: Airline caves, will apologize and reimburse

Don’t worry. CAIR is on it.

The Muslims arrived at the Frankfurt airport at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 7 on a charter plane from Saudi Arabia. They did not show up at the ticket counter until about 20 minutes before the Detroit-bound Flight 51 left at 10:20 a.m., said Dean Breest, a Northwest Airlines spokesman.

The airline industry and governmental agencies have check-in and boarding deadlines to help ensure on-time departures, and Northwest Airlines policy states that passengers must check in for international flights at least 60 minutes before departure and be aboard the aircraft at least 30 minutes before departure.

“The rules are the rules,” said Roman Blahoski, spokesman for Northwest Airlines.

Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini told CAIR the group was at the gate at least 90 minutes before takeoff and that the airline wouldn’t help them find other accommodations. Au contraire, says Northwest:

Mr. Breest … said those who arrived at the gate in time with boarding passes were allowed onto the plane, and that those who could not be accommodated were rescheduled for other flights.

“We’re sorry, but we did get them to the next destination as soon as possible. We were still able to process some of them and get them on the flight, then rebooked the rest of the group the same day for flights via Amsterdam.”

Qazwini wants an apology “as well as unspecified compensation.”

Interesting guy, though. Click here and scroll down a little more than halfway to see what he had to say about Jews vis-a-vis Christ’s crucifixion. I’d say he’s qualified to stand for election in Virginia.

He’s also the head of one of the largest mosques in North America.

Update: The ceremonial boycott threat has now been formally made. Note well:

Breest said Northwest does not discriminate. He pointed out the high-profile case of Muslim imams who were escorted off a US Airways jet in November at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after they made Islamic prayers. The imams were eventually flown home by Northwest Airlines, he said.

Update: 40 Muslims get to the gate late? No problem — just hold the plane and inconvenience the scores of other people onboard. And then give them some money for their trouble.


Reacting swiftly to allegations of discrimination, Northwest Airlines apologized to a group of 40 Muslims today for barring them from a plane in Germany on their return trip from the Hajj.

The airline said it will reimburse the pilgrims for the other flights they were forced to take on their return from the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, a ranking official of the airline said the flight for which the passengers from Metro Detroit were ticketed could have been held at the gate until all were cleared for boarding, and she is looking into why that decision was not made…

“This was not our mistake,” Newman [the airline’s VP for government relations] said. “We try very had to make sure that everyone is treated the same, and it is an important community to Northwest, as are all communities.”

It’s not their mistake, but they’re apologizing and handing them an envelope with cash.

Give credit to Debbie Schlussel — she called it.