Muslim Denied Diet Coke On Board United Airlines Flight

Muslim Denied Diet Coke On Board United Airlines Flight
Diet Cherry Coke Jake Spurlock / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Muslim chaplain, Tahera Ahmad, accused United Airlines of discrimination and Islamaphobia when she was denied an unopened can of Diet Coke because as per the flight attendant, it could be used as a weapon. The incident grew worse when the same flight attendant gave an unopened can of beer to another passenger.


Unopened can of Diet Coke could be a weapon

According to Tahera, she requested for a can of Diet Coke but the flight attendant brought her a can that was already opened. Tahera then requested for an unopened can “due to hygienic reason.” The flight attendant said no one has drunk from the can. Tahera insisted an unopened Diet Coke can.

“Well I’m sorry I just can’t give you an unopened can so no diet coke for you,” the flight attendant told her as per Tahera’s version of the incident. “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.”

However, the same flight attendant handed an unopened can of beer to the passenger sitting next to Tahera. She confronted the flight attendant about this, saying she was being discriminatory because Tahera is a Muslim. The flight attendant then quickly grabbed the man’s beer and opened it and told the man, “It’s so you don’t use it as a weapon.”

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Tahera was appalled at this point. She tried to solicit empathy from other passengers but a man sitting across from her yelled, “you Moslem, you need to shut the F** up. you know you would use it as a WEAPON so shut the f**k up.”

Tahera said she felt the hate in the man’s voice. “I can’t help but cry on this plane because I thought people would defend me and say something. Some people just shook their heads in dismay,” Tahera posted on Facebook.

I am sitting on a United airlines flight in the air 30,000ft above and I am in tears of humiliation from discrimination….

Posted by Tahera Ahmad on Friday, May 29, 2015

United Airlines said the Diet Coke incident was a misunderstanding

The United Airlines said the flight attendant attempted “several times” to accommodate Tahera’s beverage request “after a misunderstanding regarding a can of diet soda.”

“Additionally, we spoke with Ms. Ahmad this afternoon to get a better understanding of what occurred and to apologize for not delivering the service our customers expect when traveling with us. We look forward to having the opportunity to welcome Ms. Ahmad back,” the airline said in a statement.


Muslims and non-Muslims are now showing support for Tahera and their disgust against United Airlines with the hashtag #unitedfortahera. Many Muslims are said to be boycotting the airline.

However, some people are quick to turn the incident into naught, saying Tahera’s experience is no match with what the victims of 9/11 endured.

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