United apologizes after Muslim chaplain’s soda complaint

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Photo credit: Northwestern University

CHICAGO (June 3, 2015) — A United Airlines spokesman says a Shuttle America flight attendant “will no longer serve United customers” following an investigation into a Muslim chaplain’s complaint of discriminatory treatment during a flight.

In an email Wednesday to The Associated Press, United spokesman Charles Hobart said the airline “does not tolerate behavior that is discriminatory — or that appears to be discriminatory — against our customers or employees.”

Northwestern University chaplain Tahera Ahmad says a flight attendant declined her request for an unopened can of soda because it could be used as a weapon. The flight was operated by Shuttle America for United.

Hobart says United’s “customer-facing employees undergo annual and recurrent customer service training, which includes lessons in cultural awareness.” He says United will “continue to work with all of our partners” on cultural awareness.

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