Jews and Israelis, or passengers carrying any non-Islamic article of faith, will not
be able to fly Delta Air Lines flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta's
new partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Saudi Arabia, which is governed by strict Islamic law, requires citizens of almost
every country to obtain a visa. People who wish to enter the country must have a
sponsor; women, who must be dressed according to Saudi standards of modesty,
must be met at the Saudi airport by a man who will act as a chaperone.
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.
Religious items such as Bibles that are not related to Islam may be confiscated at
In a statement to Religion News Service on Thursday, Delta said it "does not
discriminate, nor do we condone discrimination against any protected class of
passenger in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender."
The airline, which did not deny the new policy, insisted that it has no control over
who may fly to Saudi Arabia.
"Delta must also comply with all applicable laws in every country it serves," adding
that passengers are responsible for obtaining the necessary travel documents
required for entry.
The article also suggests that some in the U.S. are considering legal action against Delta.
Assuming Delta's new policy is legal, is it reasonable?