To the readers of WorldNet Daily, Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch.
It seems the entire conservative blogosphere is having a feeding frenzy over a misunderstanding of a single word "alliance" and no one has checked their facts or listened to the truth. This has become a classic example of how a false rumor starts and spreads. It should also be noted that the most valuable asset conservatives have is their credibility, and spreading false rumors is the best way to lose that credibility. Take the case being falsely made against Delta Air Lines.
These are the facts in this case.
DELTA DOES NOT FLY TO SAUDI ARABIA AND DOES NOT CODESHARE WITH ANY AIRLINE THAT DOES
This whole rumor is getting out of hand. First of all, Delta doesn't fly to Saudi Arabia. The only connection that exists between airlines is called a codeshare and Delta has no codeshare with Saudi Arabian Airlines. The alliance with Skyteam is not a codeshare where one airline books passengers on another airline. The word "alliance" is not a "partnership" as Jihad Watch claims but none of these people seem to understand the airline terminology.
The travel advisories that Atlas Shrugs listed are the same as you would see on the CIA World Factbook (now available from the State Dept. web site) along with the names, addresses and phone numbers of the American Consulates or Embassies. While we all know it is a fact that openly carrying a bible or other Christian or Jewish symbol in Saudi Arabia will get you arrested, advising travelers about it doesn't mean the airline condones it or even flies to that country.
I have been a long time reader and supporter of both Atlas Shrugs and WorldNet Daily and Jihad Watch and I am a retired 40-year employee of Delta Air Lines. I found the story about their "no-Jew" policy to Saudi Arabia to be extremely biased and inaccurate and I think these web sites should print a retraction. While I sympathize with the anti-Muslim sentiments of those who commented on this story, since I am not a Muslim myself, I think this story is so completely false it must be corrected.
First of all, EVERY airline is required to follow the rules of the country they fly into. That means a passenger would not be allowed to board a flight from a departing city if that passenger would be refused entry into the destination country. If a country requires a visa, then every passenger boarding a flight to that country must have the visa or be denied boarding. If any airline carried a passenger that didn't have a proper visa they would be fined.
Most importantly, according to Delta, they do not fly to Saudi Arabia so where did this story originate anyway. Here is the statement from the Delta Air Lines employees web site. I suggest Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs and WND.com print it.
Delta does not operate service or codeshares to Saudi Arabia
June 24, 2011
In January, SkyTeam announced that Saudi Arabian Airlines would join the alliance in 2012. Recently, World Net Daily or wnd.com inaccurately reported that Delta discriminates and has adopted a “no Jew” policy. These false rumors have spread throughout many social media and traditional news outlets.
“Delta Air Lines does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against any of our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender,” Delta said in a statement Friday. “Delta does not operate service to Saudi Arabia and does not codeshare with any airline on flights to 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.
“Delta’s only agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines is a standard industry interline agreement, which allows passengers to book tickets on multiple carriers, similar to the standard interline agreements American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines have with Saudi Arabian Airlines,” the statement said. “All of the three global airline alliances – Star, which includes United Airlines; oneworld, which includes American Airlines, and SkyTeam, which includes Delta – have members that fly to Saudi Arabia and are subject to that country’s rules governing entry.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines follows the same government-created visa rules that any carrier serving Saudi Arabia must. That includes the nearly a dozen carriers who are members of other airline alliances that fly to the Middle Eastern country every day.
Passengers who fly any international carrier – on SkyTeam or another alliance – must meet the requirements to gain a visa entry into Saudi Arabia.