Saturday, July 28, 2007

There's a subtext, here...

MILAN (Reuters) - A Qatar sheikh held up a British Airways flight at Milan's Linate airport for nearly three hours after discovering three of his female relatives had been seated next to men they did not know.

When none of the other business class passengers agreed to swap seats...
I bet I could have gotten three seats free. (Actually, I bet I would have called ahead and reserved three together, but never mind that.) I would have approached a couple of my fellow business class passengers and said, "Excuse me, please. These three ladies are friends traveling together. Would you mind swapping seats with them so they can sit together for the flight? I'd really appreciate it." Failing the subtle and polite approach, I'd have asked my friend Ben Franklin if he'd help persuade them.

I can't imagine what kind of colossal prick it took to get the entire complement of business class passengers turned against him, but I'll wager that it has something to do with his wishes not being phrased in the form of a cordial request.

This is, of course, ignoring the somewhat quaint nature of a faith that won't let a woman sit next to a strange man on an airplane because we might somehow get 'stranger cooties' or something.


BobG said...

He takes the term "asshole" to a whole new level.

GeorgeH said...

What's wrong, was his private jet in the shop? He couldn't afford First Class?

Every asshole in a bedsheet claims to be a sheik when in the West. Most of them drive a taxi when not trying to mess with people while on vacation.

Anonymous said...

Aside from it being 'a shopping trip for he women', I was wondering why they hadn't rolled out the Gulfstream, myself. Obviously, the women don't rate it.

For that matter, it is very obvious from the way this played that nobody in Business class met Dale Carnegie.


Don said...

"Sheik" doesn't mean "filthy rich oil baron" in arabic, you know. A "sheikh" could just be a guy who gives good advice, or has more land or livestock than usual. A couple of years ago a village in Iraq made an American sergeant a sheikh (not honorary--a 100% sheikh.)

And they're not worried about cooties. Some mullahs have declared that women who aren't covered are basically rape-bait, and I suppose unescorted women are the same. So you see, he's actually doing his duty by his wimmenfolk--you don't want them to get raped, do you? Clearly his hands are tied.

Anonymous said...


BTW, "female relatives" is a PC code word for wives and "servant" would be the proper PC code word for filapina slave.

Anonymous said...

Having flown on BA a lot in and out of the middle east, Business class is normally "club world" status.

This means you have alternating recliners that face opposite directions with dividers.

Since you face the next row at an angle, it would be extremely difficult to get his women properly spaced without getting some folks to travel in the back of the bus if business class is full.

Trust me, a trip on business class after a long hitch is worth a lot more then ben's.

Carteach said...

Anonymous said...

He takes the term "asshole" to a whole new level.

Maybe true for a civil folk, but not for these people, he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

If he were that big of a jerk, I'd have told him his harem could sit on my lap for the flight home.

Any red-headed American woman who asked me for my seat, though, wouldn't have even got the request out before I'd jumped up and bowed.

I think most Americans are like that.