Late night flight with a strange request...

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
The flight attendant calls up and says, "Captain, we've got two passengers in Muslim garb that would like to discretely pray in the rear of the aircraft on rugs."

Your response and why.
 

vipermcg

New Member
I would definetly say NO. The purpose of the aircraft is to transport passengers safely from point A to point B. It is NOT a plac for public worship. People have the opportunity to pray anytime they want, do they have to do it the couple of hours they are on board an aircraft? Also, If the Muslims were allowed to pray, you would have to let Christians, Jews, and Hindu's pray at the same time. This could create a ridiculous and crazy situation on the plane.
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
Great Idea

What "I" would do : I would tell them while I appreciate thier need to be true to thier religion, that based on current events it is my responsablilty to be true to the perceptions and needs of the larger passenger population aboard my airplane. I would recommend that upon landing that the airline could offer them a private area to conduct thier private affairs. I would in no way allow them to do such in the airplane, I would explain to them that it would be contrary to the safe operation of this flight and request them to honor my authority. If they continued to pursue thier "rights" I would emphasis that it is my decision and to go agains such would constitute a violation of Federal Air Regulations with immediate consequences. Unless they have an aggenda beyond prayer I believe this position would appease them, if thier aggenda is otherwise ... games on.
 

kostcoguy

New Member
I would say no assuming that the majority of people on the plane are Americans. Being the current state of tension between people of middle-eastern decent and Americans, I believe that it might cause a state of chaos with people jumping to conclusions about them praying, then people thinking something along the lines of, "Oh no, they are praying to their god before they try and take over the plane." Just my 2 cents.

Kostco
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
I would tell the flight attendant to explain to them that I polite request they refrain from performing such actions on board since it may cause alarm to other passengers on the aircraft. I would also have her explain I have no issue with them doing such prayer, but given the current state of international affairs I feel that for the comfort of others on board, and fear of their own safety, they refrain from such actions until we are on the ground. I also would tell the F/A that should they have any questions, permit them to go to the back of the aircraft and quickly discuss the issue over the interphone if time and workload up front allows. This hopefully would show them that I am truly understanding and concerned with the issue, not just passing it off and saying "no" without any consideration. Honestly I feel that if I were to allow them to pray as requested, I possibly could be putting them in a precarious position. Who knows what whackos are in back who would see them performing such prayer and immediately go into "attack" mode.

Should they push the issue, I would have the F/A explain that they are going against FARs by interfering with the duties and request of a crewmember, who also is PIC. Should they choose to go to the back and pray, I would have the F/A close the curtain to the aft galley (if so equipped) or block off the entranceway with their bodies, and have the authorities meet the aircraft on the ground. I would hope that by blocking off their actions from view of the passengers that it does not cause alarm or a possible incident.
 

PhilosopherPilot

Well-Known Member
My initial response is no, they shouldn't be allowed to pray, if for no other reason than passenger anxiety. But, one factor could be whether they are going to make a scene when the attendant tells them to remain in their seats. Perhaps it would be less of a problem if they just do their prayer, and go back to their seats.

I think, after a brief discussion with the crew, I would allow it, if the two agreed to be discreet (read - quiet) and quick. (Providing of course it is a smooth flight, and the passengers would not be in danger from turbulence, etc.)

Flame away!

Grayson
 

av8rmsu

Well-Known Member
Flip the Seat Belt Fastened sign on...then they will have to stay in their seats.


I would say no...

I don't think passengers have as many "rights" as many people would think. While on board a Delta (pick an airline) flight, passengers are in a place of business that has policies just like a department store or restaurant. An airline's policies are meant for safety and a comfortable environment for the paying customer. This type of action could compromise safety and cause some confusion/disruption among other passengers.

If they absolutely have to pray, the lavatory is in the back of the plane and they can close the door and be private.
 

PhilosopherPilot

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Flip the Seat Belt Fastened sign on...then they will have to stay in their seats.


I would say no...

I don't think passengers have as many "rights" as many people would think. While on board a Delta (pick an airline) flight, passengers are in a place of business that has policies just like a department store or restaurant.



[/ QUOTE ]

I am not saying that any passengers have a "right" to pray. I just don't see why if they are respectful and peaceful it would be a problem. As a courtesy, would it not be the right thing to do to let someone pray if they wanted to pray? If other passengers began harassing the muslims just because they were praying, then it would be the passengers that were in the wrong, not the muslims. (And those disruptive passengers would be in violation of the FARs, and on my plane, I would let them know that.)

I would personally not be uncomfortable to see someone praying on a flight, and if I did become uncomfortable, it would be cause for me to look at my own prejudices, not blame them for being who they are. (Keep in mind, being an atheist, I get uncomfortable when anyone prays...lol)

That's my opinion anyway.

Grayson
 

Swabby

New Member
I would turn on the "Fasten Seatbelts" sign and request that all passengers remain in their seats and fasten their seatbelts due to possible clear air turbulence.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Given the current state of affairs I would have to say no. Another factor would definetly be the safety issue. At no (normal) time should people be on the floor of the aircraft. You are either in your seat (buckled), or up to walk and stretch (long flights) or to use the restroom. Otherwise, you should be in the seat. I don't like the idea of just flipping on the seat belt sign without talking to them first. If you tell them no and they refuse to abide by the rules, I would then flip on the sign and be sure that someone is at the gate waiting to greet them.
 

av8rmsu

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]

I just don't see why if they are respectful and peaceful it would be a problem. As a courtesy, would it not be the right thing to do to let someone pray if they wanted to pray? If other passengers began harassing the muslims just because they were praying, then it would be the passengers that were in the wrong, not the muslims. (And those disruptive passengers would be in violation of the FARs, and on my plane, I would let them know that.)

I would personally not be uncomfortable to see someone praying on a flight, and if I did become uncomfortable, it would be cause for me to look at my own prejudices, not blame them for being who they are. (Keep in mind, being an atheist, I get uncomfortable when anyone prays...lol)



[/ QUOTE ]


I guess I am just prejudice and show no courtesy. I will have to live with that.
 

chunk75

Well-Known Member
Let them pray if it doesn't interfere with anyone else (ie, slow down the beverage service, block lavs, etc.)

Chunk
 

PhilosopherPilot

Well-Known Member
I am not passing judgement, just opening a dialogue, and trying to play devil's advocate. It wouldn't be much of a forum if everyone agreed now would it?

G
 

WillNotFly4Food

Well-Known Member
In these situations I would ask myself a few questions.

Is it legal?

Like others have said, is the fasten seatbelt sign on? They must not interfere with the crew performing their duties, be it intentional or not. Even if they are 'discrete' they may be disturbing other passengers.

Is it pluasible?

Depending on aircraft size they may or may not be able to pray in a secluded area. For that matter how the hell are they going to know which way Mecca is? What if the plane turns?

Is it prudent?

Here's the tricky part because there is no defined line from which you can say 'yes' or 'no'. I think you have to be a bit Utilitarian in your decision. Most importantly are they an actual security risk? What are the logistics of it? Do you monitor them while they pray? Are you willing to take the chance you won't hit some CAT and Muhammad (YES I KNOW THEY ARENT ALL NAMED MUHAMMAD) puts his noggin through the floor.

On an RJ flight from SLC to SGU, nope. Small aircraft, in plain view of other pax. 90% of the pax are joe schmo public that can't figure out "why pilots are paid so damn much?" You expect them to grasp the fact that most Muslims aren't trying to blow you up and kick your dog? "You kick my dog!!"

On a 747 from JFK to Saudi Arabia, sure. Easier to be discrete and more secluded areas to choose from. Chances are you have a higher % of Muslims on board.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
I'd say no, not just because they are Muslim, but because people shouldn't really be up out of their seat to do anything but use the restroom or retrieve something from their carry-on. If they can fit their rug in there, then fine. I don't think that I would flip on the fasten seat belt sign however, because that would be "punishing" all the rest of the pax who might actually have to get up to use the restroom or whatever. Maybe use that as a last resort. I would just have the FA tell them that the company prefers that all passengers stay seated at all times except to use the restroom.
 

pavelump

Well-Known Member
Wow Doug, you know how to pick a good one...

I'd say sure why not?

Like Chunk said, if they're not in the way of any of the operations of the aircraft, I don't see a problem.

If you have a problem with it, ask yourself this question. Would you be similarly against it if it were on a cruise ship? A greyhound bus? In the outdoor plaza of a federal building? McDonald's?

Are you really concerned about turbulence or are you just looking for a convenient excuse to turn on the fasten seat belts sign so as not to have to deal with the problem?

Dave
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
Let them pray. You said discretely, I'm assuming this means no one outside of the crew would know about it. I would also check with the flight attendant to see how he/she feels. If they have no problems, go for it. If they feel uncomfortable with the idea I would say no. I'm up front behind a locked door and they're in back where the problems might begin.
 

eodfe

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Let them pray. You said discretely, I'm assuming this means no one outside of the crew would know about it. I

[/ QUOTE ]

Okay, just how many are in this plane and what size is it? Most times I've been a passenger the only discreet place is in the lavs. If they whipped out their rugs and took a floor in the FA station, how are the FA's going to do their job? If they park it right near the aft lavs,how are the pax going to take a tinkle?

I would say no, respectly, but no. It would create to much commotion and interfere with the other passengers and crew. I do like the idea of offering a private place when the plane arrived at its destination (most airports have a non-denominational chapel).
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
I look at this situation first from the idea that the fact that its on an airplane is only incidental.

Now, would it be any more acceptable for someone to drop to their knees and start worshiping, engaging in amorous relations, or changing a diaper in a restaurant, movie theatre, or department store?

No, for all the cases above, take it to a lavatory.

Only then, if I thought there was a risk to their well-being or the safety of the flight, I'd probably flip on the seat-belt sign and expect 'em to hold it.
 
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