To be sure, Jews weren’t going to Saudi Arabia anyway. But it’s shocking to see a U.S. airline discriminate against a class of minorities in an attempt to make some extra money.
Jews and Israelis, or passengers carrying any non-Islamic article of faith, will not be able to fly code-share flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Line’s new partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines that is set to begin in 2012.
Although Delta announced in January that the Saudi airline would join its SkyTeam network next year, the implications of the deal only came to light recently, according to people who have scrutinized the details.
Saudi Arabia, which is governed by strict Islamic law, requires citizens of almost every country to obtain a visa. People who wish to enter the country must have a sponsor; women, who must be dressed according to Saudi standards of modesty, must be met at the Saudi airport by a man who will act as a chaperone.
Saudi Arabia bans anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport from entering the country, even in transit. Many Jews believe the kingdom has also withheld visas from travelers with Jewish-sounding names.