Discrimination Suits Hit Four Airlines

pilot773

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Discrimination Suits Hit Four Airlines
Tue Jun 4,12:40 PM ET
By Niala Boodhoo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Civil rights groups filed lawsuits against four major airlines on Tuesday, alleging discrimination against five men who were removed from flights after the Sept. 11 attacks because they looked Middle Eastern.


The American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee named United Airlines (news - web sites), American Airlines (news - web sites), Continental Airlines (news - web sites) and Northwest Airlines (news - web sites) in the suits filed in federal court in Maryland, New Jersey and California.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of the five men -- four U.S. citizens and one permanent resident -- who the groups said were ejected from flights for reasons unrelated to security and simply because of their perceived Middle East appearance or origin.

The suits ask the court to find that the airlines violated the plaintiffs civil rights and for the airlines to implement measure to prevent future discrimination.

About 3,000 people were killed in the Sept. 11 hijacked airliner attacks, which the U.S. government has blamed on Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s militant Islamic al Qaeda network.

Of the four planes hijacked on that day, two belonged to American Airlines and two were United aircraft. Two were flown into New York's World Trade Center, a third smashed into the Pentagon (news - web sites) in Washington and the fourth slammed into a Pennsylvania field.

The civil right groups said only two of the five men denied travel were of Arab descent.

"These cases show that people of many different ethnicities are being subjected to arbitrary and humiliating discrimination by airlines across the country," said Jayashri Srikantiah, an attorney for the ACLU in a statement. "A country as diverse as the United States should have no tolerance for this kind of discrimination."

The government denies it is engaging in racial profiling, noting that tougher security measures since Sept. 11 target passengers for myriad reasons, including those who buy one-way tickets or use cash to pay for expensive airline seats.

The Transportation Department on Monday said consumers filed 18 complaints in April -- the latest data available -- alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disabilities, such as race, religion, national origin or sex.

The department received 35 such complaints in March.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta (news - web sites) opposes racial profiling of airline passengers, but security has been tightened around the country and many Arab Americans and other minorities have complained of unfair treatment.
 

skydiverdriver

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All I had to read was the first line...the ACLU....what a bunch of communists! Those guys will never get it. How come I don't see any of them rushing to help pilots not get profiled? The ACLU only fights for liberties of left-wing organizations. The are the exact people we all should be fighting against.
 

Capn Lucky

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Let's get this one to a jury in New York or Boston ASAP.
 

Tim47SIP

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I cant believe it would make it that far. These guys are alway comming with this crap.
 

pilotyip

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sad part

The sad part is if the gov't had acted on info about the sky jacking
and arrested 20 Middle Eastern men that prevented the attack without hard evidence, they would have ben sued the same way by the hi jackers.
 

jetexas

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If the airlines had refused service to 5 white males, nothing would ever be heard of it, anywhere, period.
Funny how the ACLU never investigates the rampant reverse discrimination occuring towards white males in the US, and indeed in the Airline industry, today.
 

1900cpt

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Have to agree with jetexas. We are becoming the minority....when african americans gather to celebrate their heritage(million man march type stuff) its ok. If a bunch of white guys did this....it would be racist, and would probably be compared to the kkk or some supremecist group. I do not agree with the kk or supremecy groups...just making a comparison.

How about all the colleges that give minorities bonus pts because they are a minority...what do we get?? A rejection letter.

Throw that in with people being able to sue for every and anything....this is what happens. I dont agree with people being kicked off flights necessarily...but if we were in an arab country and a white guy pulled some terrorist cr@p, and we tried to board there airline, we would not only be denied, but probably shot dead.

there...im done...just my opinion, so dont take offense

1900cpt:mad:
 

TWA Dude

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skydiverdriver said:
All I had to read was the first line...the ACLU....what a bunch of communists!
I always find it amusing that people confuse "leftist" with communism. I sincerely doubt that any real communists are the slightest bit interested in civil liberties. In other words, the ACLU is very much a democratic/capitalist proponant.

How come I don't see any of them rushing to help pilots not get profiled?
I must have missed it. When/where are pilots being illegally discriminated against?

The ACLU only fights for liberties of left-wing organizations.
Not true. They defended Neo Nazi groups as well.

The are the exact people we all should be fighting against.
I not sure you even comprehend the hypocrisy of that statement. What exactly is the opposite of civil liberties? Dictatorship or fascism. Carefull what you ask for...

To no one in particular:
Folks, let's get something straight here: Captains have every right to do what they feel is necessary for the safety of their flight. But after 9/11 tensions were running rather high and I think it's safe to say that none of the people booted off airplanes for appearing "suspicious" were actually dangerous. Time has passed and we're all a bit calmer now. I think those that were wronged are entitled to official apologies and a reasonable amount of compensation. Let's say we've all learned a lesson and move on from here.
 

1900cpt

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I must have missed it. When/where are pilots being illegally discriminated against?

I dont think we are illegally searched, but i do think that its ridiculous that crews seem to be the majority of people "randomly" searched. If we search some foreigner or ask them to take their turban off....we will get sued. But crews have to take their hats off.

Hell, why is it discriminatory to have them have their turban searched?? Isnt it fair since they require everyone else to practically disrobe.

I think those that were wronged are entitled to official apologies and a reasonable amount of compensation. Let's say we've all learned a lesson and move on from here.

Reasonable compensation??? How would that be determined? How about that lady that sued McDonalds because she burned her mouth i think, on that cup of McDonalds coffee. She got a few million because the cup wasnt labled "hot liquid".......HELLO...ARE YOU STUPID....COFFE=HOT...unless you just got a ICED COFFEE from dunkin doughnuts or something.

Reasonable in most people minds is .....THE MOST THEY CAN GET. I dont disagree with compensation....but lets get real here folks.

1900cpt
 

TWA Dude

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1900cpt said:
Reasonable compensation??? How would that be determined? How about that lady that sued McDonalds because she burned her mouth i think, on that cup of McDonalds coffee. She got a few million because the cup wasnt labled "hot liquid".......HELLO...ARE YOU STUPID....COFFE=HOT...unless you just got a ICED COFFEE from dunkin doughnuts or something.
You're right about the coffee burn lady. But what's that got to do with being thrown off an airplane? You want my opinion of "reasonable compensation", I'd say a couple of free first-class tickets. But it ain't up to me it's up to the courts.
 

1900cpt

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TWA Dude,

i agree with you about a few free first class tickets. The coffee thing was just an example of ridiculous lawsuits and the OVERCOMPENSATION people recieve for minor things.

I bet that they will throw in post tramatic stress syndrome and a slew of other emotional problems that cant really be disproved by the courts/airlines. All they need for that is a shrink to say that its POSSIBLE that they suffer from emotional stress and humiliation. It would be very tough to disprove that they have it.

1900cpt
 

NEDude

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Update on the Coffee Lady

People only remember, or have heard the first half of the McD's coffee incident. Yes she was originally awarded a multi-million dollar settlement. However upon appeal, the award was reduced to just a few thousand dollars. For some reason that part always gets lost in the story telling.
 

1900cpt

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NE Dude,

didnt know that...thanks for the clarification. Im glad she didnt get it all too!

1900cpt
 

w8n4swa

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You could win anything...

While we're on the subject, here's a few others that fit right in (including the McDonalds case). I especially like number 7...gives a new meaning to "Cruise Control".

In 1994, a New Mexico jury awarded
$2.9 million US in damages to 81-year-old Stella
Liebeck who suffered third-degree burns to her
legs, groin and buttocks after spilling a cup of
McDonald's coffee on herself. This case inspired an
annual award-The "Stella" Award - for the most
frivolous lawsuit in the U.S.
The ones listed below are clear candidates. All these
cases are verging on the outright ridiculous and
yet (in the good old USA) with the right attorney you
could win anything!

1. January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her
ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture
store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little boy was MS Robertson's son.

2. June 1998: A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won
$74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car, when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

3. October 1998: A Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania was
leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't reenter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage
for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars.

4. October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in it's owner's fenced-in yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

5. May 2000: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

6. December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while MS Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

7. Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City. In November 2000 Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32 foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having joined the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly the Winnie left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the handbook that he couldn't actually do this. He was awarded $1,750,000
plus a new Winnie. (Winnebago actually changed their handbooks on the back of this court case, just in case there are any other complete morons buying their vehicles.)
 

Visceral

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jetexas said:
If the airlines had refused service to 5 white males, nothing would ever be heard of it, anywhere, period.
Maybe because it would never happen in this country. I think airlines are most certainly guilty of profiling people based on their looks...especially after 11 Sep. I don't think the typical middle age white male will get so much as a second glance, but if you've got a turban on and a long beard, you will no doubt draw attention. And if the courts prove it was discrimination, I hope the plantiffs win a huge settlement.

Vive La Liberte
 
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FL000

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1900cpt said:
when african americans gather to celebrate their heritage(million man march type stuff) its ok. If a bunch of white guys did this....it would be racist, and would probably be compared to the kkk or some supremecist group. I do not agree with the kk or supremecy groups...just making a comparison.
Just a quick correction, the Million Man March was in no way a celebration of heritage. It was a self-administered wake up call by blacks (I have no idea what an African American is) to become better fathers, better husbands, better citizens. Not a bad idea for groups of ANY color.

The Million Man March Pledge by Louis Farrakhan is linked here.

I know what you're trying to say, you just picked a bad example.
 

FL000

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Visceral said:


I think airlines are most certainly guilty of profiling people based on their looks...especially after 11 Sep.
Vive La Liberte
Dam* right, and we need more of it too. We do not live in Utopia. Certain actions CAN be attributed to certain groups of people. Here's a project for you: look at every terrorist attack against US interests here or abroad, then tell me how many were perpetrated by Middle Easterners and how many were pulled off by my grandmother and her bridge partners.

To overlook this truth is just plain dangerous and ignorant.
 

Speedtree

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Let me first say that I have not been searched by any airport or airline security and I am not an airline crewmember so I can't identify with their complaints.

Nor am I a minority who has been discriminated against (perceived or actual) by the airlines or anybody else.

When we microscope the situation and see things only in terms of our own selfish wants and comforts we lose the big picture. As a law abiding American I wouldn't mind being searched if it is in the process of helping thwart future criminals etc. I would hope that any true American (African, Asian, Muslim, Hispanic, WASP etc.) would want the security people at the airports and elsewhere to be able to catch criminals and do their part to aid them. Nobody wants to be searched and inconvenienced. But if you are a minority and a concerned human being don't assume you are being racially profiled and stir up trouble for the airlines and others. Do your duty and let yourself be searched calmly realizing you are contributing to an environment of safety for yourself and other passengers. Unless, you have something to hide.

I know the civil liberties proponants will not like this post but don't get me started. If you are not doing anything wrong, you should have nothing to hide.
 
S

Snoop

Hey Visceral..

Profiling is a necessity, and as I watched the Twin Towers fall from my roof in Brooklyn, I knew idiots like you would be whining in your friggin coffee about the profiling that would take place. When the terrorist attacks are almost all routinely made by men of MIDDLE EASTERN descent, who the hell should we be looking for????? You and your p***Ywhipped buddies should open up your eyes and smell reality. Maybe we wouldn't have has the 9/11 attacks if a**holes like you shut your traps and let the government do their jobs with out the fear of reprecussion lawsuits and ACLU s**theads dragging in lawsuits over stopping terrorists and their lawyers from f**king us again.
And if FL000 thinks his granny might be dangerous, hell, throw her on the profile list. But not before you, Visceral.
 

Britpilot

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Visceral said:


Maybe because it would never happen in this country. I think airlines are most certainly guilty of profiling people based on their looks...especially after 11 Sep. I don't think the typical middle age white male will get so much as a second glance, but if you've got a turban on and a long beard, you will no doubt draw attention. And if the courts prove it was discrimination, I hope the plantiffs win a huge settlement.

Vive La Liberte
Clearly you have not been to a commercial airport recently. The airlines are not resposibile for security the FAA is and the Federal Govenment will be. Every day it is the flight crews who are singled out for searches and wanding, I even saw an old lady in a wheel chair going through this farce. Who was it that committed the hijackings, was it a white male or was it middle eastern males aged 25-35? It is time we wake up and smell the coffee and use profiling to eliminate the threat. I'm sorry if that offends you but I will be offended myself if somebody makes it onto my aircraft with the intent to murder. It is not civil liberties that are at stake here, it is the lives of the people on my aircraft and the people on the ground. Of course if it is that upsetting to you, you can always drive to your destination. I see from your profile that you are not in the airline industry which indicates that you are not exposed to any type of threat, makes it easier for you condem profiling from your armchair.
 
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