Delta Airlines Denies No-Jew Policy


delta-airlinesYesterday some Jewish and Christian readers in the blogosphere were fired up about stories that Delta Air Lines, in its new alliance with Saudi Arabian Airlines, might wind up enforcing a Saudi policy of not admitting Israelis and non-Islamic religious items like Bibles on their flights.

Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter responded with its non-discrimination policy and posted on their blog:

We’ve gotten questions today from you, our concerned customers, following an article about Saudi Arabian Airlines joining SkyTeam (the global airline alliance that includes Delta as a member). After listening to many of your thoughts today, we’d like to take this opportunity to share some information and help to clarify some of the questions we know you have.

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.

We, like all international airlines, are required to comply with all applicable laws governing entry into every country we serve. You as passengers are responsible for obtaining the necessary travel documents, such as visas and certification of required vaccinations, and we’re responsible for making sure that you have the proper documentation before you board.

According to Religion News Service:

Saudi Arabia bans anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport from entering the country, even in transit. Many Jews believe the kingdom has also withheld visas from travelers with Jewish-sounding names.

Maybe.  Rabbi Irwin Kula was wary about inflaming concerns on this, saying he knows many professionals who are very open about their Jewish religious identity who fly to Saudi Arabia all the time for business.

As the rumor of no-Jews traveled the Internet all day, Detroit rabbi and blogger Jason Miller points out:

The issue here is one of principle. Delta isn’t being forced to include Saudi Arabian Airlines into its Sky Team Alliance. In fact, Delta could stand on principle and refuse to include Saudi Arabian Airlines based on its discriminatory policy.

{USA Today/ Newscenter}


  1. #1,

    not an “official” and well publicized boycott. that can backfire.

    Simply buy your tickets elsewhere, and make others aware of the facts without fanfare

  2. #1- what do we need to boycot them for? if they wont let us on the planes, they will just lose money and they will see for themselves that not allowing our religous items on the planes will only cause a loss to them

  3. Just got off the phone with Delta. I called their headquarters in Atlanta. After a polite conversation i told the woman that I don’t by her story. Delta may not discriminate directly but by associating with Saudi Arabia Airlines they are indirectly supporting discrimination. Why do you want to associate yourselves with a country that practices an extreme form of Islam I asked her? I reminded her that she couldn’t even drive a car or be seen talking to a male who is not a relative there. I told her there is an old Jewish saying. “People judge you by the friends you keep” By allowing Saudi Airlines to join Sky Team you are putting business before ethics and morals. Therefore immediately I am cancelling my Sky Mile membership with Delta and will no longer fly Delta.

  4. “Therefore immediately I am cancelling my Sky Mile membership with Delta and will no longer fly Delta.”

    I am sure that Delta’s top management are quaking in their boots at the loss of your custom.

    All you have done is to make room for another passenger in your place.

  5. If Delta or Saudi Arabian Air wish to discriminate they should be limited to using privately owned airports rather than the public accommodations built and paid for with tax payer money. This would change their business practice in a hurry.