Tue, Feb 10, 2004
American Airlines Pilot Plugs Christianity During Flight
Flying can often be
thought of as a spiritual experience, but one American
Airlines pilot is taking things a bit too far. The unnamed Captain
recently asked Christians on his flight to identify themselves and
suggested the non-Christians discuss the faith with them. The case
was handed over to the airline's personnel department for an
investigation, airline spokesman Tim Wagner said Sunday.
"It falls along the lines of a personal level of sharing that
may not be appropriate for one of our employees to do while on the
job," Wagner said .
American's Flight 34 was headed from Los Angeles to New York's
John F. Kennedy Airport on Friday when the pilot asked Christians
on board to raise their hands, Wagner said. The pilot, whose name
was not released, told the airline that he then suggested the other
passengers use the flight time to talk to the Christians about
their faith, Wagner said.
Nelligan told WCBS-TV of New York that the pilot called
non-Christians "crazy" and that his comments "felt like a threat."
She said she and several others aboard were so worried they tried
to call relatives on their cell phones before flight attendants
assured them they were safe and that people on the ground had been
notified about the pilot's comments. The pilot also told passengers
he would be available for discussion at the end of the flight.
Wagner said the pilot had just returned to work from a week long
mission trip to Costa Rica.
Because of privacy issues, there would likely never be any
announcement about what kind of punishment or reprimand the pilot
may face, Wagner said. The pilot was not scheduled to fly during
the rest of the weekend, but it is safe to assume he went to Church
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