American Airlines Complaint and Response Regarding Religious Music on Flight

My letter of complaint to American Airlines:

My husband and I always use American Airlines to travel and have had wonderful experiences until the April trip.

We flew on a red eye from Kona, Hawaii to Los Angeles, California. We flew first class for more comfort and service. We awoke to music playing and the lights coming on when the pilot announced that we were about to land. The music was a shock to me in that it was specifically Christian music. The words of the song being played praised Jesus and God and instructed listeners to pray and "adore him."

The next song was even more religious. I said to the stewardess that the flight had become a church service. She ignored me completely.

The next song was also an overtly Christian song, this time with a message about the "glory and the power of God."

In total we had to listen to three songs about a religious doctrine we find disturbing. I'm sure that a Jewish family, a Hindi family and nontheist people such as my husband and I were equally offended that American Airlines was promoting the Christian doctrine in a space that could not be escaped from. We were a captive audience!

I expect my airlines to remain neutral in matters of religion. This is why I will not fly Alaska Airlines. They promote and proselytize Christianity at ever opportunity.

Please confirm that this type of religious incident will not happen again when I use American Airlines. Please also explain who was responsible for the religious promotion on this flight -- the pilot and/or the staff.

Margaret Downey

American Airlines Executive Office letter to me:

Dear Mrs. Downey

I am in receipt of your recent letter describing your April 22 experience when returning from Kona. We very much appreciate the time you took to send us your feedback about our service. Indeed, I’m sorry that you found the choice of cabin music to be offensive on flight 246 that day.

It is always helpful for us to consider our services and amenities from our custormers’ perspective. We try to be responsive to our customers and carefully analyze information based upon their reactions. In this way we can identify those service elements that are most appealing as well as improve those that produce a negative response such as this. You have my assurance that your feedback is being shared with appropriate managers who oversee the areas of Flight Services and Inflight Products.

Mrs. Downey-Schottmiller, as we determine the appropriate action in this regard, you input is being considered. Thank you for giving us the benefit of your observations. We truly value your loyalty and support and that of your husband, and we are eager to continue the beneficial relationship we have developed to date. We are all working hard to ensure that every flight you take on American is enjoyable and that your every contact with our people is pleasant and productive. Please continue to travel with us often.


Tim Rhodes

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.