Update: Northwest Airlines Unsafe Capitulation

A commenter politely pointed out the following from the Seattle Times, and I have taken a couple of days to further reflect on the situation:
Northwest originally said the pilgrims arrived only 20 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart, which is outside airline and international rules regarding overseas flights. The pilgrims held a news conference Tuesday in Dearborn where they refuted the airline's claim, saying they had arrived at least 90 minutes before departure — well within the regulations.
The original report was that Northwest airlines said that the Muslims had failed to check-in within 20 minutes of departure, a violation of the rules adopted in response to terrorism. Clearly we have an apples and oranges situation.

The Muslims claim that they arrived somewhere (At the gate? At the terminal?) 90 minutes before departure. Apples. That is not the same thing as saying that they checked in 90 minutes before departure. Oranges. Why didn't they check in?

If they made a mistake in failing to check in, why didn't they just say we made a mistake, please help us? No, instead they held a news conference claiming discrimination against Muslims, because they had "arrived" 90 minutes before departure.

Is this taqqya by half-truth? It is certainly not a "refutation."

With the Northwest Airlines capitulation, I'm certain that no further details will be forthcoming. Northwest blames, "a series of mistakes involving a German travel agency, the baggage handlers for the previous chartered flight from Saudi Arabia and misleading information on a printed ticket that the passengers had received." So who made mistakes? What were the mistakes?

Perhaps the Muslims were totally blameless. But if they were not checked in 20 minutes before departure, the Northwest gate agents were blameless as well.

Without more details, flying Northwest Airlines continues to make me uncomfortable, and I will avoid it.

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