Saturday, July 28, 2007

British Airways Is My New Favourite Airline!

The captain of a Milan-Heathrow flight booted Arab princesses (from Qatar) off of BA 563 after male members of the princesses' entourage complained that the women were going to have to sit next to men that they did not know. (Gasp!)

Apparently, this is against Qatari custom (as well as the custom of other Gulf States); and as a result, two men in the princesses' party stood up and caused a ruckus.

The passengers in Business Class, when asked to move so as to accommodate the princesses, said "no." Apparently, it is customary--in the rest of the civilised world--to sit in your assigned seat. And, frankly, it was an assigned Business Class seat. A seat next to folks who had forked over about a G-Note for the privilege of flying Business. Indeed, the princesses would have sat next to people more than a little well-off, not the hoi polloi.

Rather than knuckle under to this preposterous behaviour, the princesses, and their servants, cooks, and other assorted hangers-on were escorted from the flight. A diplomatic incident will surely arise as a consequence of the pilot protecting the safety of his ship, his passengers and crew.

Of course had it worked, I might have tried it on my next flight:

Me: "Sorry, stewardess, my religion does not permit me to sit next to strange/fat/ugly/smelly/goofy men/women that I do not know (or, in a window or middle seat--or in Economy)."

Flight Attendant: "Oh, sir, I am so sorry that will be remedied immediately. Let me move you to First, next to Scarlett Johannson."

Me: "Lovely, she is my third cousin (twice removed)."

For Allah's sake, a religion that finds suicide bombing acceptable has a problem with women sitting next to strangers? Drag yourselves out of the ninth century and shut the fuck up.

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