You haven’t got a Prayer in the Sky…
Alaskan Airlines has long had a tradition of providing prayer cards to their passengers at meal time. The small carrier has been doing this for over 30 years and recently made the decision to discontinue the service in order to respect the diversity of religions or non-religious affiliations held by their passengers.
President of Alaskan Airlines, Brad Tilden stated “This difficult decision was not made lightly.” And it seems the decision has gained disapproval from Sarah Palin former Governor of Alaska who has commented on her Facebook page with this comment “The Alaskan Airlines prayer cards should be looked upon as an All-American, hopeful, encouraging gesture. Please don’t discontinue the cards.”
If this is “All – American” it does not encompass the beliefs or lack of beliefs of each American as the country has a diverse and varied list of religions and a growing number of Atheists. The decision of Alaskan Airlines to discontinue the cards is in step with the trend of removing religious affiliation from business and non-religious companies.
This action may or may not impact the airline as the list of independent carriers continue to dwindle due to several major purchases over the last few years. Northwest was purchased by Delta, United is purchasing Continental, and Southwest is purchasing AirTran.
With the possibility of mega-airlines, trying to please everyone, all the time is not a possibility. While some may see Alaskan Airlines actions as a loss of tradition, for others it is business as usual.