The nation of Saudi Arabia has a few interesting rules for who may enter the country and what they can bring if they’re allowed in. For instance, you can’t enter the country if your passport has an Israeli stamp on it. The Saudis have a pretty strict We Hate the Hell Out of Israel policy and that extends to anyone who may have been there, in case there is some sort of Jew Cooties that might infest their nation like bedbugs in New York City. You can’t bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia either. Ditto a Star of David, a crucifix, a picture of Jesus, a Book of Mormon, a statue of Ganesh, or any other religious symbol that isn’t Islamic. I assume that a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion might get you upgraded to the luxury suite at your hotel and complementary women sent to your room in case you wanted to beat someone with a switch later.
Hey, you never know, right?
The reason for those rules is simple. Saudi Arabia is a paranoid nation packed full of anti-Semitic, oppressive, woman-hating, backwards primitives. Normally, a nation like that wouldn’t make news since there are only so many stories about camels and sand one can stand, but the Saudis are special. They happen to sit on top of one of the largest oil deposits on the planet. What luck, huh?
That oil has bought them an outsized amount of global and financial power. It’s also made at least one American company incredibly stupid.
Delta Airlines has entered into a code-sharing partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines. That means it’s going to make a considerable pile of cash selling flights flights into and through Saudi Arabia. Though Saudi Arabian Airlines will do the flying, Delta will get at least a piece of the ticket price. And the opposite will be true for Saudis who wish to fly on Delta flights (assuming the code-share is mutual, which so far as I know, they usually are). In short, Delta Airlines will to reap a hefty profit off of anti-Semitism and religious bigotry and they’re pretty okay with it because, as their customer service blog explained, they won’t be the ones hating on the Jews, Christians, Hindus, or Buddhists.
First and foremost, I think one of the most important things to mention here is that Delta does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against anyone in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender.
That said, some have raised questions about whether Saudi Arabian Airlines’ membership in SkyTeam means Delta is adopting any type of policies that could present barriers to travel for some passengers, including Jewish customers. For this particular concern, it’s important to realize that visa requirements to enter any country are dictated by that nation’s government, not the airlines, and they apply to anyone entering the country regardless of whether it’s by plane, bus or train.
Comforting, no? Note there’s not a single hint that Delta realizes how appalling its behavior is. Of course it doesn’t discriminate; it just enters into close business relationships with those who do. Of course Delta has a “diverse” workforce and serves a “diverse customer base”, but that workforce and base just got a little less diverse. Delta’s commitment to diversity obviously doesn’t extend to a pilot in a yarmulke, a female flight attendant who prefers her face uncovered, or a passenger who has a Bible in his carry-on. Those employees and customers aren’t nearly as important to the fine folks at Delta as a truckload of cash.
Back in the 1980s, Delta Airlines’ slogan was “Delta Gets You There with Care”. Obviously, that care doesn’t extend to everyone.
UPDATE: Yid with Lid has a couple points of contact in case you want to register your polite but pointed objections to the airline’s business arrangement.
UPDATE 2: Wait, this is the same Delta Airlines whose employees charged soldiers coming home from Afghanistan over $2,000 to carry all their luggage home. Makes you wonder what’s happening at the highest levels of that company, doens’t it?
UPDATE 3: Delta contacted Brian Bolduc at NRO. According to a company representative, “Delta does not operate service to Saudi Arabia and does not codeshare with any airline that serves that country. Delta does not intend to codeshare or share reciprocal benefits, such as frequent flier benefits, with Saudi Arabian Airlines, which we have confirmed with SkyTeam, an Amsterdam-based 14-member global airline alliance.” So that’s that.