Thursday, January 18, 2007

Northwest & pilgrim incident coming to a conclusion

David Coates / The Detroit News
Dawud Walid, center, speaks for NWA fliers Rami Hamadeh, from left, M. Jowad Al-Ansari, Jennifer Zreik and Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini.

NWA apologizes for barring local Muslim fliers
Airline to reimburse 40 pilgrims returning from Mecca after not allowing them to board their flight.
Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

"I welcome this gesture from Northwest," says Imam Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America. " We hope this is a sincere effort to stop any discrimination from happening."
Jennifer Zreik was one of 40 local Muslims who were barred from flight out of Frankfurt Airport on Jan. 7, which resulted from a series of mistakes involving a travel agency and baggage handlers, according to Northwest.

DEARBORN -- Reacting swiftly to allegations of discrimination, Northwest Airlines apologized to 40 local Muslims on Wednesday for barring them from a plane in Germany on their return trip from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
The airline said it will reimburse the pilgrims for the additional costs for flights and "reasonable" costs for accommodations.
"To our knowledge, there was no security issue and this was not a profiling issue," said the official, Andrea Newman, the senior vice president for government relations for Northwest Airlines, in Washington, D.C. "We try very hard to make sure that everyone is treated the same, and this is an important community to Northwest, as are all communities."(MORE)

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