There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is officially anti-Semitic, and I’d like to see an American with an Israeli stamp on their passport—me, for instance—get into the country. But Religion News Service still overplayed that story I mentioned last week about Delta banning Jews on Saudi-bond flights.
The RNS story on Delta Air Lines’ pending partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines that was distributed on June 23 contained incomplete information about Saudi visa policies and U.S. Jews’ ability to fly Delta flights to Saudi Arabia. The story was not fully edited according to RNS standards:
- While Saudi Arabia does not issue visas to citizens carrying Israeli passports, Saudi officials say an Israeli stamp in a U.S. passport is not a barrier to entry, even for a stop in transit.
- While Saudi Arabia does not allow non-Islamic religious articles within its borders, religious identity and a passenger’s religious articles are not barriers to flights on either Delta or Saudi Arabian Airlines flights.
- Airline alliance programs typically allow passengers on one airline to book tickets on another, or redeem frequent flyer points on partner airlines. On Friday, Delta said such “code-sharing” agreements will not be part of its alliance with Saudi Arabian Airlines, nor will Delta passengers be able to redeem Delta frequent flyer miles on the Saudi airline.
That’s a doozy. Just count all the inaccuracies from their original story, which, not surprisingly, got picked up by a lot of publications and incited a lot of outrage on my FB news feed.