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She Was Asked to Switch Seats. Now She's Charging El Al With Sexism

She Was Asked to Switch Seats. Now She's Charging El Al With Sexism

Old Feb 29, 16, 4:49 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
mikebg and yosithezet, you're missing the point that Indelaware made. The facts that she was asked politely, that she was not pressured, and that she agreed don't matter. The reason for the request doesn't matter either. What matters is that she was asked to move because she was a woman. I am not a lawyer, but I believe that in some jurisdictions this would be illegal. And requesting only men to move would be as discriminatory, of course.

Shuly
Not missing the point. I get it. But I wonder why we get so worked up over a polite request to accommodate another human being, when the resulting seat quality/destination will not be impacted, when we can simply agree, or not agree, and move on.
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Old Feb 29, 16, 5:05 pm
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I was on a flight recently when I experienced a similar form of discrimination.

A young lady asked me to help her put her rather heavy bag into the overhead. There was a woman nearby who she ignored. She asked me just because I am a man.

What's worse is that a female FA was standing right there and did nothing to stop this obvious discrimination.

I am ashamed to say that I was ignorant and did not even realize I was the victim of discrimination. Thanks to this thread, I now know to be more aware of possible discrimination disguised as simple requests!
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Old Feb 29, 16, 5:28 pm
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I think it is OK to ask the woman to move if she gets a better seat out of it. A man who won't sit next to a woman shouldn't be the one rewarded by moving to a better seat. I hope he didn't end up with the bonus of an empty seat beside him. I would put him in a middle seat between two men whose religion doesn't permit deodorant.
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Old Feb 29, 16, 11:27 pm
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About discrimination

Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Not missing the point. I get it. But I wonder why we get so worked up over a polite request to accommodate another human being, when the resulting seat quality/destination will not be impacted, when we can simply agree, or not agree, and move on.
It's totally off topic of course, but I will try to explain. Rather than explain, I will use two examples.

A white man walks into an aircraft and realizes he is seated next to a black person. He explains to the flight attendant that he does not wish to sit next to black people. The flight attendant then politely asks the black person whether she'd be willing to move to a different, better seat. She agrees, and everybody is happy.

An Arab man walks into an aircraft and realizes he is seated next to a Jew. He explains to the flight attendant that he does not wish to sit next to jewish people. The flight attendant then politely asks the Jew whether she'd be willing to move to a different, better seat. She agrees, and everybody is happy.

I get worked up because discrimination, in my mind, is morally wrong. Public transportation should, in my view, be open for all. Every individual is free to hold whatever discriminatory views she or he wishes, but providers of public transportation should not, in my view, discriminate. If you wish not to be seated next to persons of a particular gender, race, religion or whatever, buy the seat next to you or walk/bike.

I believe, although I may be wrong, that discriminatory behavior of the type exemplified here is not only morally wrong but also illegal, at least in some countries. Not sure about Israel.

Shuly
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Old Feb 29, 16, 11:39 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
A white man walks into an aircraft and realizes he is seated next to a black person. He explains to the flight attendant that he does not wish to sit next to black people. The flight attendant then politely asks the black person whether she'd be willing to move to a different, better seat. She agrees, and everybody is happy.

An Arab man walks into an aircraft and realizes he is seated next to a Jew. He explains to the flight attendant that he does not wish to sit next to jewish people. The flight attendant then politely asks the Jew whether she'd be willing to move to a different, better seat. She agrees, and everybody is happy.
It would only be discrimination if either the white man or the Jew said they wanted to remain in the seat that they have but were required to move anyhow.

Imagine this scenario:

Rosa Parks gets on the bus, sits down in front next to a white man, and the white man objects.

The bus driver asks Mrs. Parks if she is willing to move to the back of the bus. She refuses. The bus driver then tells the white man that he has the choice of looking for a different seat, continue to sitting next to Mrs. Parks, or getting off the bus and walking to wherever he wants to go.

If that had happened, there never would have been the bus boycott (or the need for one) in Montgomery, Alabama.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 12:45 am
  #21  
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Do any of you who don't see discrimination feel there's a difference between a private passenger asking someone to switch versus the FA?

Whether it gets to the level of legal discrimination, I doubt it. In fact, based on further reports, it sounds as though Anat Hoffman heard the story from her and got excited in order to use it to further her agenda. Not surprising.

However...

The very fact that the airline (FA represents the airline) is willing to accomodate a request that legally isn't sound to me is very problematic.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:29 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post

The very fact that the airline (FA represents the airline) is willing to accomodate a request that legally isn't sound to me is very problematic.
If an airline can make a passenger happy WITHOUT making another passenger unhappy, I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, I have helped airlines make passengers happy.

Here is one example, although the other passenger proved not to be very grateful:

Originally Posted by Dovster View Post

I was on a TLV-FCO flight, sitting in the aisle seat opposite a very religious couple. The husband was furious because AZ had not provided a kosher meal for his wife. He kept yelling that she was pregnant and could not go the entire flight without eating. (Of course, he was not pregnant but he didn't consider giving her his meal.)

I had ordered a kosher meal, but only because the kosher meals in Y are better than the regular ones. I would just as happily eat a ham and cheese sandwich.

This being the case, I told the FA to give the wife my kosher meal and bring me a standard one.

She did, and to thank me, told me that she was moving me up to FC. The husband blew up! It was his wife whose meal was missing, he said, and he should be given the upgrade.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:33 am
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
If an airline can make a passenger happy WITHOUT making another passenger unhappy, I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, I have helped airlines make passengers happy.

Here is one example, although the other passenger proved not to be very grateful:
Husband refuses food to his pregnant wife and feels he deserves an upgrade for that? Fantastic
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Old Mar 1, 16, 3:32 am
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Rosa Parks is the correct analogy here. I'm sure all those southern bus drivers politely asked black people to sit in the back of the bus and I'm sure many agreed. That doesn't make it right.

I have been asked on ELAL flights to change seats to accommodate religious people and I always say no. This practice of moving passengers for "religious" reasons has to stop.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 5:18 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
I get worked up because discrimination, in my mind, is morally wrong. Public transportation should, in my view, be open for all. Every individual is free to hold whatever discriminatory views she or he wishes, but providers of public transportation should not, in my view, discriminate. If you wish not to be seated next to persons of a particular gender, race, religion or whatever, buy the seat next to you or walk/bike.
I understand and your examples are valid. And like Dovsters example, I guess nobody would have any issues with the man choosing to move. I mean we don't think he is right headed, but his choice.

But in society we seem to make all sorts of adjustments to cater to religious feelings. Lack of public transportation in Israel on Shabbt. Heck, lack of EL AL flights. I grew up in a public school that I suspect still serves fish or cheese pizza on Fridays. If an airline stopped providing kosher meals would find that discriminatory? Or would we say, "Well, if the person wants kosher they should walk or bring their own TSA-safe food!"?

NTYA says he was asked to move and he declined. So the practice of EL AL isn't to move people but to ask if they would be willing to move. If they decline, they move on, usually?

I'm not Orthodox and my experiences would be much more similar to those of Dovster, and my politics more aligned with Anat Hoffman, but I find it odd that this is a specific realm that we find it offensive to cater to religious sensitivities.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
Here is one example, although the other passenger proved not to be very grateful:
Forget the kosher meal, what airline offers First on TLV-FCO?
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Old Mar 1, 16, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Forget the kosher meal, what airline offers First on TLV-FCO?
AZ has Business Class which is a step or two below what Delta calls "First Class" on its domestic flights.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 8:52 am
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Hard to believe it's 2016
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Old Mar 1, 16, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by QtownDave View Post
Hard to believe it's 2016
and yet some people dress like its 1800 in Bialystok.

Personally, I think if a religious person has some sort of accommodation they'd like, they should be free to ask (but not insist). Just as the person they are asking has every right to refuse. If the woman in this story just said no, you find someone to switch with you, then it would be the end of it.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 6:39 pm
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We weren't there, but why didn't she refuse to swap?

If the guy was uncomfortable with her presence, she could have told she won't move, and suggested him to move for a "better" seat. Even because she was already accommodated at her original seat.
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