Even More "War on the Unexpected"
We’re losing the “War on the Unexpected.”
A blind calypso musician and his band removed from an airplane:
The passenger told the pilot of the Sardinia-Stansted flight that he was concerned about the behaviour of Michael Toussaint and four other members of the Caribbean Steel International Orchestra, a court heard. He claimed to be a psychology lecturer from London University and said he had noticed the group in “high spirits” in the terminal building, but that they had sat separately and quietly on board. He also believed Toussaint, who was wearing dark glasses, could have been feigning blindness, the court was told.
A Jewish man removed from a train:
The incident took place on a train that left Chicago early in the morning – when Jewish men are obligated to put on tefillin (phylacteries). The passenger began strapping the head-tefillin to his forehead and passengers unfamiliar with the custom rushed to the conductor and told him there was a man on board who was fastening a box to his head with wires dangling from it.”
The conductor approached the passenger but the latter refused to answer him as he was in the middle of the prayer, heightening the conductor’s suspicions.
Meanwhile, the passengers grew even more frantic when they noticed that the passenger sitting next to the Jewish man had a Middle-Eastern appearance and wore a turban.
EDITED TO ADD (12/6): Bomb squad in Sarasota, Florida called in to detonate a typewriter.
EDITED TO ADD (2/8/08): The calypso band won damages in court:
A judge ruled that the airline had not acted reasonably and had failed in its duty of care to the passengers, particularly Toussaint, who was entitled to special care because of his disability.
He also found the company had issued a “false and misleading” statement to the BBC, which blamed the incident on the Italian security authorities.