KLM has been criticized about gender-based discrimination
KLM was criticized by the Human Rights College because the airline has made a distinction based on gender, according to a statement by the College on Friday.
SP MP Ronald van Raak had brought the matter to the college after a Jewish Orthodox man on a KLM flight because of his religion did not want to sit next to his wife, because of her gender.
KLM would then have asked the Member of Parliament and his wife to sit somewhere else. In doing so, society would have committed the mistake "by failing to ensure a non-discriminatory environment".
The Institute for Human Rights would also have stated that from now on it should no longer be the victim, but the perpetrator who should be addressed, and that this policy should be propagated in the instructions for the employees.
Van Raak says he is happy with the outcome. "This is a public interest, that every woman should be able to count on her not being discriminated against on a KLM flight. I will ask KLM to adjust the working method based on this statement."
Link in Dutch
There are two sides of this. An operational and a principle one. As I understand it, the KLM crew acted very pragmatic by reseating the couple (he is an Member of Parlaiment, but that is irrelevant) and thus accomodating the Orthodox Jews in their demands. And by doing so, accomodating discrimination on gender. The principle side of course, is you cannot discriminate and thus that includes not facilitating it as well. But I can imagine that it is a real dilemma for the cabin crews dealing with such a situation or the captain if he gets involved. These Orthodox jews have caused some trouble in the past by refusing to move or refusing to be ejected from the flight itself. Which in itself will cause delay's and missing time slots.
I would like to hear how this is handled by different airlines. Is it left to the crews or do they have a policy regarding this.