Monday, 2 August 2010

Keep SMW Safe, Please Write to Air Canada *Update*

UPDATED: see bottom
Dear Readers,

SMW is a frequent flyer, and she has little faith in airport security, however a particular story making the rounds has her very concerned. On a recent Air Canada flight from Montreal to Heathrow two women (but who really knows?) wearing niqabs (full face cover when only eyes are visible) boarded an Air Canada flight without proving their identification to Air Canada staff members. When a concerned traveller alerted staff to this they did nothing - and now Air Canada is threatening legal action against the individual who provided video evidence of these security breaches.

The issue came to light through a video taken by Mick Flynn of Bradford, England. Flynn was boarding a flight at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport when he witnessed two women with their faces covered board an Air Canada Heathrow bound flight without being asked to remove their veils.

In fact, in the video that Flynn has posted online, a man traveling with the group hands in all the passports and is the only one to interact with airline staff while two veiled women simply walk through.

“I complained at the desk — and again as I boarded the plane — asking if the pilot was happy that two women boarded without being identified,” Flynn told QMI Agency. “Both members of staff whom I spoke to were flustered and clearly embarrassed.”

Flynn’s communication with Air Canada and his video posting have resulted in a threatened lawsuit from the airline.

This is not just about Air Canada - this is setting an example for other airlines as well. We are talking about an airport security system where my Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing gets confiscated because they consider it a 'liquid' (soooooo dangerous - if I dropped on someone a fellow passenger might lick them to death) but where people wearing masks are allowed to board planes no questions asked. This is not acceptable.

Infidels and Infidelistas unite: If you care about the safety of those in the wide open skies (or in tall office buildings, or on the ground) please write to Air Canada and demand an explanation as well as a review of their security policy. Oh and forward this story to everyone you know.

Thank you,

H/T Flea and BCF

UPDATE via BCF: The federal government is ordering the transport department to look into a QMI Agency report that Muslim women have been allowed to board flights without having to remove their veils.

As QMI reported on Sunday, frontline airline workers, security workers and passengers all reported seeing Muslim women board flights without having to remove their veils and prove that the faces behind the niqab matched the faces on the government identification.

“If the reports are true, the situation is deeply disturbing and poses a serious threat to the security of the air travelling public,” Transport Minister John Baird told QMI Agency in a phone interview from London, England. “We take the issue incredibly seriously.” Baird says he has instructed his department to look into this matter and report back to him, promising that if the current policies are lacking they will be changed.