Amen? Alaska Airlines removes prayer cards from flights

Do these cards look familiar?

When Alaska Airlines served meals to all passengers, these card would be tucked under a plate on the meal tray.

But in a memo sent to its frequent fliers Wednesday, the airline announced that the prayer cards it has been providing to passengers on meal trays for the past 30 years will be discontinued as of Feb. 1.

“A former marketing executive borrowed the idea from another airline and introduced the cards to our passengers in the late 1970s to differentiate our service,” the memo written by the company’s chairman and president explained.

For my story on msnbc.com, airline spokesperson Bobbie Egan told me that over the years the airline has received letters and e-mails from customers for and against the card. Last fall the company decided to stop distributing the cards because, Egan said, “We believe it’s the right thing to do in order to respect the diverse religious beliefs and cultural attitudes of all our customers and employees.”

Meal tray service in the coach class ended six years ago, so the prayer cards have been provided only to passengers in the first class cabin. MVP Gold flier Roz Schatman gets the cards on her meal tray quite often. “In the spirit of diversity, I find them offensive,” she said.

The Alaska Airline statement said that while some passengers enjoyed the cards, reactions like Schatman’s were not unusual.

“…[W]e’ve heard from many of you who believe religion is inappropriate on an airplane, and some are offended when we hand out the cards. Religious beliefs are deeply personal and sharing them with others is an individual choice.”

“It always seemed odd to me,” said George Hobica of the consumer travel website Airfarewatchdog.com. “Flying on a wing and prayer? I don’t think those two go together.”

What do you think? Would you be pleased or perturbed to get a prayer card with your meal on an airline?

 

4 thoughts on “Amen? Alaska Airlines removes prayer cards from flights

  1. Nancy says:

    Well, said, Rachel. How sad that is has come to this in this country. Hopefully, we will get back to being a God-loving country soon. You will be blessed for what you said and how you feel as I hope I am.

  2. Sandra says:

    No Rachel, there is not a God. And evolution is true.

  3. Rachel says:

    Cowardly is all I can say. For those who don’t want them, why not put them the side and move on? For those who appreciate them, now they will have to do without because some do not believe in what is so obvious? Namely, there is a God. Really God says it best, so I will simply quote Him. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.” Psalm 14:1

    I wonder if anyone from this airline ever thought about what GOD THINKS about this move. Of course not! It seems more important and profitable to appease fools rather than do what is honorable towards God. Just another sad day where God is disrespected. Well, God says that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. It is to our benefit to put away this foolishness and get down to the business of salvation. You will either bow now (which is to your great advantage) or you will bow later in acknowledgement and by that time, it will be too late.

  4. BucK T says:

    Good move Alaska. It always struck me as odd that they were handed out at all. I considered it a throw-back to a bygone era, when it was assumed everyone was just a good God-fearing Christian. Over time, I just saw it as a reminder to give praise that I wansn’t flying coach.

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