The Delaware News Journal reports that United Airlines is being sued by two Hindu passengers because they refused to serve them Hindu meals and then threatened to get them arrested.
According to court documents, the Patels boarded United Airlines Flight 836 from Shanghai to Chicago on July 17. The tickets came with an airline pledge to furnish the Patels and other members of their group with Hindu meals.
United Airlines’ Hindu meals are designed for vegans and do not include meat, fish, eggs or dairy products. The diet is part of the religion, which the airline acknowledges under its list of religious diets.
According to the lawsuit, when attendants began serving non-Hindu meals to the group, the Patels informed them of the problem.
Attendants then told the Patels that “they could not have any meals or food of any nature whatsoever other than what had been offered throughout the entire flight.”
The head attendant, according to the suit, told the other attendants the Patels were not to receive any food or alternates for the remainder of the 12-hour flight, despite other passengers being given bread and fresh fruit — which are allowed in a Hindu diet.
The suit also alleges the head attendant threatened to have the plane diverted to Tokyo, where Patel would be removed from the aircraft, arrested and have his passport taken. She also threatened Patel with arrest in Chicago and investigation by the FBI.
I realize that we live in a post 9/11 era, but isn’t it high time that people stop using the fear factor. What gives a bunch of stupid flight attendants the power to get passengers arrested. Or at least what makes them believe that they have the power to say so. I hope and wish that for once the litigious US society awards the Patels millions of dollars as punitive damages. And the flight attendants are fired !