Diet Coke a Weapon?

Old May 30, 15, 9:11 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 243
Diet Coke a Weapon?

A friends sister (Muslim Woman in Hijab) was flying Chicago to DC on United. She asked for Diet Coke as a drink. The FA provided her with an already opened can. When she requested a new unopened can for sanitary reasons, the FA claimed that they don't give unopened cans because they can be used as weapon and refused to provide her any drink. The FA than proceeds to provide an unopened can of beer to the next passenger.

More details of the FA's behavior in this news report.

What do you guys think? Is this clear discrimination from the FA? Should United issue an apology?
isaifan is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 9:20 am
  #2  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR/SEA
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 13,447
Originally Posted by isaifan View Post
FA claimed that they don't give unopened cans because they can be used as weapon and refused to provide her any drink. The FA than proceeds to provide an unopened can of beer to the next passenger.
Don't know about soft drinks, but if what several FAs told me is UA policy, then this FA clearly broke protocol as ALCOHOLIC drinks are supposed to given already OPEN.

But I don't understand the concern about having an UNopened can

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 30, 15 at 5:38 pm Reason: Moderator error
EmailKid is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 9:21 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LHR (sometimes CLE, SFO, BOS, LAX, SEA)
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 5,811
Probably two things to untangle here:

(1) The flight attendant making up arbitrary explanations for why they choose not provide certain service (like "sorry, I am required to open this can of Coke before I give it to you because an unopened can of Coke might be a weapon") is just par for the course on UA and in fact all American legacy carriers.

Staff are required follow crazy internal policies about how to do the meal service and those policies make no logical sense; no surprise that if you sometimes ask a crewmember to explain the policy you'll get a crazy-sounding explanation. Having had or overheard equally ludicrous interactions with flight crew several times in the past, I am sure this happened more or less exactly as described.

Should UA apologize for having crazy made-up illogical rules and having staff whose only rational reaction in response to their crazy made-up rules is to make stuff up? Yes, but this apology would take them years. It's not racism, it's just dumb bureaucratic inertia.

(I don't think this pax is in the wrong to, per her account, demand that she receive an unopened can of Coke and to reject even a just-opened can as bad in some way, like potentially somehow contaminated or difficult to squirrel away for later use. It's a reasonable thing to ask for, even if UA policy prohibits doing it because they want to save the 50 cents per can of Coke breakage or whatever. A better reply would have been "sorry, policy says I can't do that" full stop…)

(2) The other passenger who was mean to this pax and allegedly said bad things about what they assumed to be her religion is probably just a bad person or a person who was having a bad day and said stuff that, later in life, they will or should deeply regret.

Should UA apologize for their staff not reprimanding that guy for being a jerk? Probably, yeah; a courteous member of the flight crew would go above and beyond their stated job role to encourage pax not to be mean to one another.
mherdeg is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 9:42 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: lax
Programs: 1k
Posts: 440
Why did she order it?

A Muslim colleague of mine told me it is against their religion?
Asiatraveler15 is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 9:50 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 948
Originally Posted by isaifan View Post
A friends sister (Muslim Woman in Hijab) was flying Chicago to DC on United. She asked for Diet Coke as a drink. The FA provided her with an already opened can. When she requested a new unopened can for sanitary reasons, the FA claimed that they don't give unopened cans because they can be used as weapon and refused to provide her any drink. The FA than proceeds to provide an unopened can of beer to the next passenger.

More details of the FA's behavior in this news report.

What do you guys think? Is this clear discrimination from the FA? Should United issue an apology?
Where's the discriminatory part?
theddo is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 9:54 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: At an airport-on a cruise ship
Programs: UA-1K, MM, Hilton-Diamond, Marriott-Platinum, SPG-Platinum Thnks to FT
Posts: 4,245
Well with all these people boycotting UA there will now be plenty of Y seats to stretch out in. The scorecard of those boycotting now include supporters of the Autistic teen incident, the singer's unseat belted toddler incident and now this.

I'm sure UA is worried. Not. Remember there are two sides to every story.
cruisr is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 9:56 am
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,947
Originally Posted by Asiatraveler15 View Post
A Muslim colleague of mine told me it is against their religion?
He means it's against his personal interpretation of his religion. Unless a religion has only a single practitioner, there is no single definition of what that religion is. In general, there are as many different levels of compliance in a religion as there are practitioners.

Originally Posted by cruisr View Post
Remember there are two sides to every story.
Three. Yours, mine, and the truth.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 10:20 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DYKWIA, UA GS/1MM, Bonvoy Ambassador
Posts: 1,737
Originally Posted by Asiatraveler15 View Post
Why did she order it?

A Muslim colleague of mine told me it is against their religion?

He is in the minority. Sultan Murad IV prohibited coffee and tobacco in the 17th century and executed a few people for using it. But shortly after that, the Sheikh-ul-Islam (a heavy smoker) issued a fatwa saying they were OK.

That being said, Pepsi is favored in the Muslim & Arab worlds, because Coke is associated more with the US and Israel. You will find Pepsi and "Mecca Cola" all over the Islamic world.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 30, 15 at 10:28 am Reason: OT/trolling comments removed
porciuscato is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 10:28 am
  #9  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 51,792
Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Don't know about soft drinks, but if what several FAs told me is UA policy, then this FA clearly broke protocol as ALCOHOLIC drinks are supposed to given already OPEN.

But I don't understand the concern about having an UNopened can
In thinking over my travel experience, I must admit I do not remember receiving an unopened can of anything -- but there have been occasional reports on FT of folks requesting and receiving unopened mini-liquor bottles.

So it is very believable the policy is no unopened cans/bottle which some FAs may have let slide. And other FAs may be strict enforcers.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 10:37 am
  #10  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 51,792
Moderator Note

There is a number of ways this thread can go. Discussion of what is and is not a religious observance is not an UA topic and best for other forums. As the UA forum we should stick to UA related topics -- UA's policies, the FA's alleged actions, .... deviation into non-UA related things or into OMNI like geo-political / religious discussions will be unwelcomed and will lead to deletions or closure.

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 10:50 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Programs: UA 1MM, AS MVP, Bonvoyed Gold, Honors Dia, IHG Plat, ...
Posts: 9,697
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
In thinking over my travel experience, I must admit I do not remember receiving an unopened can of anything -- but there have been occasional reports on FT of folks requesting and receiving unopened mini-liquor bottles.

So it is very believable the policy is no unopened cans/bottle which some FAs may have let slide. And other FAs may be strict enforcers.
I have received mini bottles unopened or with the cap loosened but still on it. I don't recall ever receiving a mini bottle without cap. Has anyone ever received a mini wine bottle without cap?
notquiteaff is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 10:50 am
  #12  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,947
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
In thinking over my travel experience, I must admit I do not remember receiving an unopened can of anything
I used to get them all the time (so I could clean the top before opening it), and still see it. Usually the FA hands over the can and cup in one hand.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 11:11 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 325
According to the report from United, the flight in question is operated by Shuttle America. The UA policies now is to open and pour. If the passengers ask for the can then give them the rest of the open can. Most of the sUA FAs are still giving un open can if asked. It's just saving their manicured finger nails from being damaged....
jetaway96 is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 11:37 am
  #14  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR/SEA
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 13,447
Originally Posted by jetaway96 View Post
It's just saving their manicured finger nails from being damaged....
Can't recall last time I saw an FA NOT use a tool to open a can. Maybe a male FA, but NEVER a female FA @:-)

Still have a very vivid memory of an FA citing me the riot act when she misheard / misunderstood when I asked for the WHOLE bottle of premixed Margarita @:-)

"We are not allowed to give you unopened beverages" This during pre flight drinks.
EmailKid is offline  
Old May 30, 15, 11:51 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 16,388
Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Don't know about soft drinks, but if what several FAs told me is UA policy, then this FA clearly broke protocol as ALCOHOLIC drinks are supposed to given already OPEN.

But I don't understand the concern about having an UNopened can
When I order a G&T I get a cup with ice, an unopened can of tonic and an unopened mini of gin. When the stuff they call wine, an unopened bottle with the cup on top upside down.

Last edited by milepig; May 30, 15 at 12:03 pm
milepig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: