Virgin Atlantic airlines was forced to change the name of one of their onboard meals after receiving many complains and accusation of being “terrorist sympathizers”.
The dish that contained a mix of Maftoul, couscous, tomatoes and cucumber was named as the “Palestinian couscous salad” on the menu.
Virgin Atlantic then removed “Palestinian” in its in-flight menu, although the salad includes Maftoul which is known to be a traditional Palestinian grain.
The airline said in a statement: “Our customers’ experience on board is a key focus and we are constantly refreshing our food offerings on our flights. We recently introduced a Maftoul salad on board our flights. It includes a mix of Maftoul and other couscous, complemented by tomatoes and cucumber and seasoned with parsley, mint and lemon vinaigrette”.
Virgin apologized to their customers for using the word “Palestine” in their in-flight menu.
“We were aware that Maftoul is not a widely known ingredient, so the dish was listed as a ‘Palestinian couscous salad’, and later as a ‘Couscous salad’. We’d like to reassure all customers that our only intention was to bring new flavors on board, and never to cause offense through the naming or renaming of the dish” They added.
On the other hand, many people did not accept the change of the dish’s name. As they expressed their disappointment with the decision on social media.
Could someone with a rational voice please explain to me what's wrong with calling a menu item, "Palestinian Couscous Salad"?— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) February 14, 2018
You can’t get more Palestinian cuisine than maftoul (couscous), national Palestinian dish. Virgin should not have caved in to falsification of the name of the Palestinian cuisine to please twisted and hate-filled passengers. Virgin is morally culpable.— Bassam Mansour (@BmansourB) February 11, 2018