For 30 years, Alaska Airlines gave passengers a card to read while eating their in-flight meals:
(Because, as we all know, Jesus holds the plane in the air…)
Even though only first class passengers have received the cards over the past few years, no one will be seeing them much longer. As of February 1st, Alaska Airlines is getting rid of them:
Airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the airline heard from customers who preferred not to mix religion with transportation. The decision reflects respect for the diverse religious beliefs and cultural attitudes of Alaska Airlines’ customers and employees, the company said in announcing the change.
“Some customers were comforted by the cards and some didn’t feel religion was appropriate on the plane and preferred not to receive one,” she said.
For a long time, Alaska Airlines got more positive comments than negatives ones. But lately, opinion has shifted.
In an email to frequent flyers, AA Execs explained their reasoning this way:
… This difficult decision was not made lightly. 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.
Some of you enjoy the cards and associate them with our service. We also know some of you consider the cards to be a tradition that reflects your own spiritual beliefs. At the same time, we’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’s their decision whether to give them away or not, but it’s nice to know they’re responding to customer preferences and that customers are complaining about it.
Either that, or they’re just trying to save money wherever they can and the Christian cards are low on the list of priorities.
The comment of the day came from one Redditor:
And, in case you’ve never heard it, comedian David Cross did a bit on the Christian cards in 1999, wondering why Alaska Airlines felt the need to give him one: