Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Vice-Chair of Dallas City Plan Commission Refused Boarding on Virgin America Flight

Once in a while a "news of the weird" item with a land use angle appears in my Facebook feed.  Yesterday the New York Times reported that prominent Dallas lawyer and Vice-Chair of the Dallas City Plan Commission was denied boarding on a Virgin America flight at LaGuardia, ostensibly because he cut off a member of the crew in a revolving door when entering the airport.  Apparently airline crew have broad discretion to deny boarding on flights. There's been some speculation that Robert B. Abtahi, who is Iranian-American, was racially profiled. But Virgin America has apologized and offered Mr. Abtahi free flights, which he has passed along to the Human Rights Initiative of North Dallas.

I'm sure Mr. Abtahi would rather be famous for his lawyering skills, his advocacy for refugees, or his call for civility in Dallas local politics. But, as his Twitter feed shows, he seems to have handled the whole incident with class.

Jamie Baker Roskie


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