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Strange Experience On A SR Flight From JFK To ZRH  
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 33
Posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6069 times:

It happend on the flight SR 103 on August 13th (A 330-200) from JFK to ZRH:
There were about 30 people belonging to an orthodox religion (no matter what religion) in economy class.
20 minutes before breakfast about 15 stood up and began with their prayers in the ailes, at the emergencie doors and worst in rear galley. I woke up and the other passengers could hardly go to the toilet. The F/A had problems to serve breakfast, but they kept cool. Most passengers and I were very much bodered and I did not like it at all. I think airlines should not allow this molestation of passengers. I shall perhaps write a letter to Swissair.
What is your opinion on this?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6282 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5711 times:

You can't regulate someone's religion. There is nothing wrong with a group religious activity in flight. Now, if their practices had included opening an emergency exit in flight (I know, I know, it's impossible but pretend here) and throwing flight crew out into the wild blue- that would be different. But they weren't harming anybody. So someone had to go to the bathroom? Big deal- hold it. You don't mess with someone's religion.

User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1609 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5690 times:

hi ZRH
unfortunately i don't think you can do anything about it...as long as they don't challenge severely safety.My mind is just like yours and such facts bother me.
AA737-823 since you seem to support those things,you find it normal FA are bothered while they're trying to work? you also find normal everybody has to witness this kind of ceremony while everybody's trying to rest and enjoy their flight? well ok as far as you're concerned but don't try to explain it is normal people has to pray!!!! because it's not any simple prayer (i don't care about religion). it's a spectacle that doesn't belong in a plane where 250 people have to endure this.For your information they would do it even in case of turbulences and wouldn't listen to FA: just ask any FA who has encountered the situation

User currently offlineLegalman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5640 times:

im not sure about int'l airlines, my experience is in US law but i have to agree theres not much you can do thats worth the time and effort since the plane was in the air. aside from the annoyance factor, no harm was done, unless you were hit or something like that. you may argue that you were unable to rest but unless made you screw up at a meeting, there's no real reason to persue any action. thats just a quick thought.

User currently offlineSammyk From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1701 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5606 times:
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You said "You don't mess with someone's religion." But its just fine and dandy for religion to mess with someones wanting to go to the bathroom? What if they can't hold it? What if they have a bladder problem? What if they're sick? Oh sorry, please piss in your pants, I need to pray. Or how about for someone wanting to do their job in the proper manner? Sorry, you can't give that man a pillow or a drink or whatever until I'm done praying. Get real. I would have walked over (take note, I didn't say walked ON the person) the person to take a piss.

I respect all religions, but they should not cause an inconvenience to others, especially if they are in a minority situation (30 out of 200 people on an aircraft). Unfortunatly those that choose to pray in public and cause inconveniences do not respect those that do not follow their religion.

Kinda sad.


User currently offlineIndianGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5586 times:

I come from a very religious country myself, but this is ridiculous! It just isnt done.

I am surprised that SR F/A's could allow such things. I think no passenger should be allowed to do anything that causes discomfort to other co-pax, and/or prevents the cabin-crew from performing their duties normally.

I know airlines go to great lengths to keep all pax in good humour, but surely u got to draw the line somewhere. If i was on that flight, i would definitely have blown a fuse.

User currently offlineFrequentflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 736 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5555 times:

Well... pax were bothered, even woken up, and F/A work was impeded.

I think this is enough to imply it should not happen.

Religion also advises not to bother thy neighbor, doesn't it? So they should not have done it.

Take off and live
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 7111 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5554 times:

I'm afraid that there isn't much which can be done about it.
But at least they should have told the FA what was going to take place, so the FA could have announced it for everybody in advance. Not knowing what the hell is going on, and if it will last 2 minutes or half an hour...!
Failing at least to do so is showing the outmost disrespect for the rest of the fellow passengers.
Preben Norholm

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5498 times:

I would be furious if some religious zealots started waking everyone up with their crap. I have been on flight before where a certain christian mob had a group on the plane. This mob (not mentioning the religion) actually tried to peddle their crap to half the pax and the FA's were confused as to what to do.

Finally the pilot came over the PA and put the fasten seatbelt sign on to make them go back to their seats. I was absolutely furious! I have no problem with religions but let them keep it to themselves. At the very least the airlines involved should at least have a prayer room (such as MAS) for such activities.


User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5482 times:

Just imagine if some unexpected severe turbulence came up... "religious activities cause 7 broken limbs and dozens of bumps and bruises on swissair flight"

User currently offlineGKE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5461 times:

The group which ZRH is reffering to is a group of orthodox JEWS. Being a part of this minority i have to explain something: Orthodox jews have to pray 3 times a day: morning, noon and afternoon. It's not a choice (like between chicken or beef in lunch) but a moral obligation. Since they can't pray in any other part of the plane, they have to cause some innconvenience to the other passengers. It's not because they are primitive and rude by nature. It's because they have to pray on specific "schedule".
The title "strange experience" which ZRH chose as a title suggests that the person which wrote this post seems to be a bit "not so enlightened" to say the least.
Please, try to be a little more tolerant next time. The only "strange experience" here is reading your post.

User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5448 times:

If you want to pray on a plane fly first class. Swissair is obviously christian an airline of a christian country so they are not supposed to have prayer rooms on board.
And why cant you pray in your seat?


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5448 times:

To GKE: It was really a strange experience! Three people from Lebanon travelled next to me and they were very bothered. I am tolerant, but people who disturb others with their religion are not tolerant! Everybody can practise his/her own religion in privacy, but it is very intolerant to molest others with their ceremonies. Religion is an absolutly privat matter. It has nothing to do with minority or majority. I don't understand why they could not wait with their prayers only two hours. I will suggest Swissair not to allow anymore such ceremonies on their flights.

User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11557 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5447 times:

I respect every religion as far as their prayers or whatsoever ceremonies don´t disturb other people (who in this case even have absolutely no chance to go away). It should be selfunderstood that a grownup person in the year 2000 should be able to hold back at least for a few hours during flight. We are not in the 15th century anymore.
I absolutely don´t like that what happened during your flight. Do these people think they´re better than others? Did they ask before that? They didn´t show respect to the majority of the passengers, that seems for sure. If someone wants to pray on board he should do it sitting with his mouth shut. especially during early morning hours when other people want to sleep.
Airlines should not allow this.

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5444 times:

Na: That's it, what I meant. Show respect to other people.

User currently offlineApioca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5444 times:

Pray all you want, it´s a matter between you and your god(s) why bother everyone else with it?

I am getting so sick of all this: "You-have-to-be-tollerant-when-it-comes-to-religion" why is it that religion is allways given such leeway? The amount of wars fought in the world due to religion is appaling - mostly due to the fact that some members of one religion have a need to impose it on others. (ie the socalled Christian missionaries.)

I say : ban all kind of public religious displays and we will have a more peacefull world.

As for the person who claims that jews have special duty to pray (inpublic) 3 times a day, all I can say is that one chooses what to believe in or not to believe in. Fine with mee to be a practising jew, muslim, christian Budist or what ever but dont pester everyone around you with it.

Had I been on that flight I would have asked them loud an clear to shut up! Religion or no religiopn there is no reason why non-belivers should be exposed to such CRAP!

User currently offlineEK_A340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5438 times:

Well, the people praying on the airliner were probably Muslims and Muslims have to pray five times a day.   

User currently offlineTWAneedsHELP From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5412 times:

No, EK, they were Orthodox Jews, and me being Jewish myself can say they're psychotic. ZRH I know exactly what you went through, a good friend of mine went to Tel Aviv last summer on TowerAir, and jesus (no pun intended) I can't begin to imagine what that flight was like.

Orthodoxy in almost any religion is dangerous, troubling, and selfish. Yeasterday it could be orthodox Jews praying on a jetliner, today it could be Islamic fundamentalists blowing up a US housing base in Saudia Arabia, and tomorow it could be Ulster unionists provacatively marching through a Cathloic neighborhood. Extremism as now practiced has caused more difficulty, heartache, and tension in the world than most everything else and will likely never go away. Forever will they're be individuals who believe that becasue god is the most important thing in the world, they have the right to trample on others in his name with no regard to anyone else. I'm sorry for the molestation you were caused on the ZRH bound flight due to religious extremism, but just thank yourself that your not an abortion doctor in the midwest UnitedStates or an Indian brahman in Pakistani controlled Kashmir. Only than would you truly appreciate the danger and virulence extreme religion can cause.

User currently offlineFrequentflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 736 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5402 times:

GKE: we do not need your lecture on tolerance.

What's more, your post is strangely one-sided when you mention "They have to cause inconvenience to other pax". Kinda laughable at, would not we talk about onboard safety.

Everybody on a plane has to care for others' safety and comfort, orthodox or not. No minority has a right, let alone a duty, to act different.

Just wondering whether all of this does boil down either to arrogance or carelessness, not to say selfishness.

Take off and live
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2926 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5381 times:
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People, PLEASE!!! Come on!! With all of the horrible things going on in the world, we should be thankful that the one thing we have to bitch about today is the fact that someone interrupted your beauty sleep above the Atlantic.

Let's really look at this:
- BLOCKING RESTROOMS: If they are truly holy people, they will move for the incontinent person screaming as they run for the can. (And, to put it back on them as Avion did above, why can't the incontinents get a prescription before the flight to avoid this sort of thing??)

- SAFETY: Which is more dangerous? Hanging out and chatting in an aisle or near an exit door, or praying briefly and returning to your seat? These people were not constructing temporary temples out of exit doors and oxygen masks. Please...

- PAX COMFORT: Again, if they are truly holy people, they would have politely excused themselves past their rowmates, prayed quietly, and discreetely returned to their seat. I seriously, seriously doubt that people were screaming and wailing at once.

What this is really about is intolerance. If one of you wanted to listen to your Discman and turn it up all the way to the point where the passenger next to you can barely hear it, you'd throw a damned fit if they asked you to turn it down...

I'm disappointed to see that the people who post here -- generally intelligent and open -- are so focused on the comfort of their own personal bubble that they cannot COMPROMISE to allow others to perform moral duties they consider crucia for the comfort of their respective bubbles. I mean, come on... what's the harm in praying? Oh yes, it's discomforting to you. Jesus wept.

This is the root of another Airliners.net topic: Air Rage. Because people are now so hell-bent on living happily and unfettered in their own bubble, and not compromising one little bit for others' comfort, they now see it as being completely logical to pitch a hellacious fit over one more shot of vodka or an inch of legroom.

Finally, for you, TWAneedsHELP, for someone pontificating that extreme religion is dangerous, turn the scope on yourself. In your post, you've pigeonholed eight different groups with the broadest of brushes. You call a prayer on a flight "molestation"? No one as far as I could tell was preaching the gospel or trying to save anyone -- they were practicing their PRIVATE faith. When we try to control PRIVATE actions, you're restricting the very freedom that you say is so precious -- to be exactly what you want to be and nothing else.

Come on, people... be tolerant of others' beliefs and actions, and they will tolerate yours. Otherwise, we're headed for a world of isolation and confrontation.

User currently offlineKALB From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 573 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5374 times:

In the real world I am a hospital chaplain, and as a spiritual care giver in a diverse setting I'll do anything to accomodate patients'/families' spiritual and religious needs as long as it does not threaten the health code or safety of others. It does not seem that the religious group in question tried to impose their beliefs on other passengers, they were only trying to practise their faith according to the dictates of their religion. I'm sure if there was a real need for a passenger to use the WC, they would only need to say, "Excuse me, but I REALLY Need to get through, thank you."

User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

These jews were customers of Swissair. So the FA's were hesitant to tell them that they should stop.

My question: Isnt it possible tp pray in your seat?


User currently offlineTWAneedsHELP From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5362 times:

Actually that was very articulate and thought out Flashmeister. I commend you for your rational and reasonable responce. However, I know how Orthodox Jews pray and being a memeber of the faith I know a little about them too. Without sounding too problematic I can assure you that with regards to their religion they aren't the nicest kindest people in the world. They becoem very sensitive and very stubborn. Its easy to believe that they were all standing up and with little care to other passengers praying. I do have one question however, when Jews pray and "doven" its actually supposed to be very quiet. It is a private, spiritual practices that usually includes much reading and bowing. I would be surpirsed to hear that they were making loud noises during they're prayers.

With that said, it still doesn't excuse them from inconveinecing others and making a scene. They should, out of respect to humanity, really make verty effort they can to be polite, quiet, and respectful to others. Thats what their religion dicates however. But I know very pious people and they often times disregard respect and dignity to others to accomodate their own (or should I say self-important) worshipping.

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 33
Reply 23, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5344 times:

To clear it: They did not make noise, they only murmured. They didn't block the toilets but the ailes. I think we should close this discussion, I did not want to start a discussion about "tolerance". It does not belong to this forum. I only wanted to tell a story what happened on a flight and that other people could be offended in their religion or feelings if a group of people show their religion in such a public way, which I don't like and understand at all.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 24, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5327 times:

ZRH: were the people rocking forwards and backwards while they were praying? That would be called "daven."

If they were "davening" then they may really have moved out of consideration for the other passengers. Who wants someone "muttering to themself and fidgeting" in the adjacent seat? This could easily be misunderstood and/or caust the next person to be extremely uncomfortable.

Please don't accuse me of being insensitive, I am just saying how someone who doesn't know about the practice of prayer might think.


Up, up and away!
25 IndianGuy : Well, i do not think that religious compulsions give people the licence to cuase trouble to other pax. I am a christian in an deeply religious hindu c
26 Killjoy : OK, I don't want to sound too rude, but religious zealots are what I just about loathe most about this planet. I don't have any problems with skin-col
27 TWAneedsHELP : Here here sister!
28 Airmale : If they were Muslims (I am), then its true that we have to say our prayers five times daily no matter what, but our religion is totally against causin
29 ZRH : To Redngold: Yes they were rocking forwards and backwards and they were murmuring.
30 GKE : well, it's nice to see people debate on moral matters as a cover-up to their anti-semitic beliefs. I don't mind someone like ZRH, which can cover his
31 ZRH : GKE: I only don't like people who are exremly indecent and obscene. This is no matter of religion or prejudism. I have the opinion that all passengers
32 Hepkat : Wow, what a debate! This is what I think: First of all to GKE. I don't think Killroy was being anti-semitic or prejudiced in what he/she said. I reall
33 Gerardo : I think, we are getting far away from aviation and more into a very interesting to read discussion about an actual theme. I understand ZRH, if he says
34 Killjoy : "well, it's nice to see people debate on moral matters as a cover-up to their anti-semitic beliefs." I *was* treating it as a moral matter. I started
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