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Passenger Removed from Flight for Praying (Actually, The Airline Was Right)

A passenger was removed from a United Airlines from from JFK to San Francisco after he refused to sit down prior to takeoff because he was praying.  The man (who, for the sake of full disclosure, though the religion doesn’t really matter here, was Jewish) was standing up and praying and would not sit down when the plane was about to take off.  Friends of his explained to flight attendants that he would be done in 2 minutes.  That was all well and good, but they had security escort him off the plane.

I’m guessing we’ll hear some indignation about this story, but the fact of the matter is this:  You can’t stand up when the plane is trying to depart.  And in a crowded airport like JFK (or just about anywhere, for that matter), 2 minutes makes a difference.  And what if a different passenger wanted 4 minutes.  Would that have been OK?  Or what if I just wanted to stand up and think about things for a few minutes — is that alright?  I’m curious to see the tone of the stories that come out from this, but while everyone has a right to pray, this guy should have davened a bit faster…

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