THE COMMOTION TODAY ON A PLANE WITH A 17 YEAR OLD SHOULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED,HOWEVER THE YOUNG MAN APPARENTLY WAS ILL ADVISED.
I have flown many time to Europe,Asia and other areas that required me to say my shacharit ( morning) prayer at the break of dawn.
Firstly, I have always gone to the head stewardess or cabin attendant, and politely told them, that in a few hours etc.,I was going to say my morning prayers.I then ask them if I can use a small area in or near the galley for that purpose. The answer is always yes. Sometimes they will say that they are preparing breakfast, cvould I please wait until the trays are out.Usually they go out of their way to put on an overhead light if the cabin is still dark,and try to make me comfortable.
Secondly I try to pray as early as halachically (legally) possible so as not to disturb or even frighten other passengers.
Thirdly, it appears that the young man did not respond when asked by the staff as to what he was doing.In this hyper-sensitive period,everyone is nervous,and that is no time to refuse to answer a common sense request on a plane.
Fourthly- for early morning flights, I have tried to get to the airpor a few minutes early and go into a corner which at that hour is empty, and pray there -if the hour is correct,before getting on the plane.
Early on AFTER 9/11 ,Jewish organizations went to the TSA or the appropriate agencies, and explained about tfillin.That there has not been a problem until now speaks to their cooperation.However personel and circumstances change, and perhaps it is time to reaquaint the authorities in Washington and through them the staffs of the major airlines of the nature of our tfillin-which incidentally are mandated at the end of this weeks Torah portion.
Just as I was finishing my blog I read of the cessation of oprations of Air America, the left wing mouthpiece.
They blame the economy-perhaps they should look at what they are selling--- and switch teams and join Rush etc