Oman Air Disabled Their “Disturbing” Inflight Maps…

There’s no denying that it’s tough to do anything nowadays without offending people. Sometimes people are just being ridiculous, like the self-proclaimed social justice warrior who insisted a Lyft driver remove his dashboard doll because it offended her.

Sometimes people have valid points and an apology is due, like when Korean Air launched flights to Nairobi, inviting people to experience “the indigenous people full of primitive energy.” It pays to get a translator!

Similarly, people weren’t all too pleased when one of Air China’s inflight magazines suggested avoiding London neighborhoods populated mostly by Indians, Pakistanis, and black people. Oh, and females should also never travel alone.

Air-China-Warning

While not on the same level as the above, Oman Air has just issued a statement regarding their inflight maps, which they’ve disabled for the time being due to something “disturbing.”

Oman-Air-New-Business-Class - 35

What could be disturbing about an inflight map, you ask? Well, Oman Air is leasing 787s from Kenya Airways, and they have Panasonic inflight entertainment systems, which are different than the ones they have on other planes.

The problem is that this system refers to the body of water in the region as the “Persian Gulf” rather than the “Arabian Gulf.” So until they can get that fixed, they’ve advised crews to disable the maps so that passengers won’t be offended.

Here’s Oman Air’s full statement:

Now, of course there’s a longstanding dispute about whether it should be called the Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf, and naturally Oman is on #TeamArabianGulf.

But is it really worth deactivating the inflight map over this?

Comments

  1. Most people are clueless but not racist. There is the absence of intent. Except for a certain duck running for the president and his supporters. They are pure racists, evil.

    But there is something to be said about stereotyping. Most people do it. They are lying if they say they don’t. I have seen people go out of their way to act and then drop stereotypes when their guard is done. So in general most people are fake. Hehe…

    What are your favorite stereotypes?

  2. I am an Arab and lets be honest its always been known as Persian Gulf,when the Shah was ruling Iran not a single arab country will dare change the name.

  3. It’s not unusual for a place to have different names in different languages. It can be a political thing (Islas Malvinas v. Falkland Islands) or not (citizens of the USA calling themselves americans. After all, citizens of all countries in the American continent are americans). It’s hardly something to pay attention.

  4. I think it’s slick marketing by Oman Air. I believe they feel their message regarding the name of that body of water will resonate with their targeted customer base. Otherwise, why go thru the trouble of explaining the whole thing? I would normally expect an airline to be rather non-descript about something as benign as the travel map. A comment such as “Our travel map service is temporarily unavailable; we’re sorry for the inconvenience” would be perfectly acceptable to most travelers. They went into great detail explaining it all, which makes me think they believe this message will hit home with their targeted customers.

  5. I was expecting the maps were pulled because they mentioned Israel.

    Glad that’s not the case and the bds anti Semites haven’t gone that far. Yet.

  6. I doubt British Airways would ever accept a map that showed the English Channel as La Manche, and if it did, the Brexit voters would promptly stage an exit plebiscite.

    Let’s face it, even here in the US there are people (likely including the few trump supporters who can read simple complete sentences) who would love to change the name of the Gulf of Mexico to Gulf of Florida, and hopefully later on make it even more “murican” and patriotic, perhaps gulf of trump, since Florida still sounds too latino for their liking.

  7. @Credit. So its ok for you to have prejudices, but when the opposing political party has them they are evil? What exactly is evil about enforcing our borders? Try crossing any other international border illegaly, I guarantee you won’t be granted social benefits and victimhood status. Meanwhile, your fearless leader has greated more racial divisiveness since the civil rights movement. Get off your high horse, people who oppose the current direction are not evil.

    PS Air China’s advice was sound as well, I would rather stay alive than worry about offending someone.

  8. @Bongo – A lot of this comes from languages themselves. In the English-speaking world, we say the world has seven continents, but in many other languages, there is no separate North and South America.

    In English, demonyms are usually only one word (unless there’s a geographic term added, like “South African” or “South Korean”) and aren’t derived from the part of a country’s formal name that describes its political system – otherwise, Britons would be called “United Kingdomers”, Germans would be called “Federal Republicers”…actually, half the people of the world would be called “Republicans”, which would be entertaining (if for no other reason than it would really annoy a lot of American politicians) but not really practical.

    And even if we wanted to deviate from that practice, in English “United Stateser” or “United Statesian” just doesn’t work. So we’re left with “American”.

    The practice of commonly referring to themselves using the geographical term “Americans” as a first choice rather then the demonym for the nation-state they are citizens of is pretty much unique to South (and some Central) America. I have never heard Mexicans describe themselves as “Americans”, and people from Japan, China, etc. would never introduce themselves as “Asians”. Most Europeans would say “German”, “French”, etc. first, unless they wanted to show they support the idea of the EU evolving into a federal state.

    Here’s a good YouTube video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMZC4y4zXU

    I like the maker’s suggestion that Americans should “respect the language they’re using” and use the Spanish term “estadounidense” when in a Spanish-speaking country instead of “American”. (There’s also a Portugese equivalent.)

  9. I found the inflight map for Virgin Atlantic to be somewhat disturbing, as it included the locations of various shipwrecks in the Atlantic. Informative and interesting, yes, but not perhaps the best feature for a transatlantic flight!

  10. With today’s technology it would be EAA to ask passengers how they identify themselves and then they could get maps reflecting their own prejudices…

  11. @Mohamed

    Well, maybe to cowards like you, but #teamarabiangulf!

    @Alex

    The BDS isn’t anti-Semitic, it is anti-Zionist. Not the same thing.

  12. @wr

    Yes, this fearless leader dared to be president while black, and yes, due to this audacity, he is surely the sole responsible for the most racial divisiveness since the civil rights movement.

    BTW, I’m sure there were others just like you back at the time of the civil rights movement, claiming that MLK was the most racially divisive person since the civil war.

  13. @Aaron

    The BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Israel is an anti-Semitic group which claims Israel is an “apartide” state because 15% of its population is a Muslim minority (which has all the same rights as other citizens except military service is not obligatory but optional.) however it is all the Arab states that are apart ode states that greatly limit the rights of woman which is half their population. In the Palistinian Authority selling land to a Jew is subject to the death penalty. palestinian maps in both the West Bank and Gaza teach children that all of Israel is occupied Palestine. As Former Israel Prime Minister Gold Mier said “there will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”
    So when you campaign to destroy one country – The only Jewish one in the world when all its neighbor’s are (1) apart ode states to at least half their population as a matter law and Israel is a democracy with a Supreme Court that often sides with its minority both inside Israel Proper and in the partially occupied West Bank (area A under total Palistinian control, area B under Palistinian civil control and Israeli Military control and area C under Israeli control.)
    I live in occupied Mexico aka Los Angeles- the US took California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico in an unjust war. The US made everyone in those areas citizens. The Arabs in Israel proper are Israel citizens with Israel passports. The West Bank was part of Jordan (Jordan is also part of Palestine) until Israel made peace with the Oslo accords. The dividing wall which is not complete was built because the Palestinians rejected peace and killed and insured thousands of Israeli. The Camp David Accord offered the Palistians 97% of the West Bank. The Palestinians decided against peace and for violence.

    If you want to criticize some Israel policies that is not anti-Semitic. If your organization and its backs want to destroy Israel like the vast bulk of the BDS movement it is anti-Semitic particularly when Israel’s neighbors human rights record is far far worse.

  14. Shah and Ayatollah have absolutely no place on this earth. Religion should not at anytime be advertised nor practice on any public places especially on public transportation.

    Great idea to change the name that a ignorant country felt it owned the ocean because of its name. Soon the China sea will be call the Asian Sea. Communism and dictorship soon will come to an end sadly when a third world war will arise.

    History predicted that peace will never come as long as earth has muslims. The longest wars that still continues is because of Islam. Facebook is connecting youth to join the fight against the Kuran which was written by old ignorant jealous men for controlling insecured men.

    Arabian Sea is the political proper naming of that sea.

    Thats the difference between a nation driven my tolerance than a nation driven by a book that was never written by God or his son.

  15. Hello, Ben asked what you thought about the map! This was not a call for every narrow minded, politically charged idividual on the face of the earth to share with us!
    Give it a rest, not interested in who you are voting for! Given your statements we can pretty much figure that out!
    Enough already, give it a rest!

  16. Actually Israel is an apartheid state. And the bds movement isn’t anti-Semitic.

    Palestinians throughout the Holy Land have restrictions on buying land and expanding land and/or their homes that Jewish counterparts do not. Many Israelis keep calling the West Bank Judea and Samaria and support settler expansion in those areas. It is almost like they consider it a part of Israel…

    97% of the West Bank? Israel has expanded and swallowed up more than 50% of the West Bank. What is left for the Palestinians is patchwork of Swiss cheese like cantons.

    Things might be marginally better for the Palestinian citizens of Israel versus their Arab neighbors, but considering how they are second class citizens compared to their Jewish counterparts in terms of money per person with regards to government spending on things like infrastructure, schooling, water, etc.

  17. I took my WY KUL-MCT-MUC flights on Thursday 22nd Sept; both on A333 aircraft with the new business seat. The map worked fine on the first leg but was deactivated on the connecting flight.

    There were just three of the twenty business seats business occupied for the MUC flight despite KUL-MCT being totalling full.

  18. I, as a Bahraini, an Arab and a GCC citizen, will be seriously offended by the term “Persian Gulf”, I did complain about it to authorities in other occasions (not on aircrafts per se.)

    It resembles the historic oppression of the Persian Empire; continued by the negative influence of nowadays Iran.

    I can’t help to remember all the pain inflicted by them supporting local terrorist cells through the Arabian Peninsula.

    So yes, I praise Oman Air for the, seemingly tiny, but highly thoughtful gesture.

  19. Marriott Marty – When are you ever going to realise that the “opposition” never have, and never will, buy the incessant claims of victimhood?

    Aside from the fact (yes that’s an irrefutable fact – you can argue that they deserve it if you want, but that’s a different point) that Israelis are the wealthy prison guards and Palestinians are the poor prisoners (but our life is so hard – we’re the ones suffering!), making demonstrably false accusations of racism does you no favours. If you’re so inept at observing that, why would I trust your observation of the crisis in general?

  20. “Now, of course there’s a longstanding dispute about whether it should be called the Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf”. This is a false statement. It has always been Persian Gulf for thousands of years. The entire Arabian Gulf thing was invented during the last few years by some Arab countries. Think about it like this: Imagine USA and Mexico had some border dispute in Gulf of Mexico and both parties believed disputed regions belonged to them historically. Since the name of Gulf of Mexico is an evidence of historical presence of Mexico in the region, USA suddenly decides to call Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of USA to weaken Mexico’s evidence showing historical presence in the region.

  21. “during the last few years”

    Define during the last few years. Arabs have been bringing this up for decades and decades. It isn’t something new.

  22. A few decades are considered a few years in a historical dispute over the name of a region whose name goes back to thousands of years ago. Yet that’s fine if you feel it should be “a few decades” instead of “a few years”.

  23. I understand Iran is disliked in some Arab countries, and vice versa. Yet, I don’t understand renaming the geographical areas. It’s like Iran, out of the blue, starting to call Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Iran. What’s the point? That Gulf have long been called and known as Gulf of Oman.

  24. This name issue is just one of many which has crept up over the years as tensions between the powers in the Middle East has gone after each other. I think the issue is a non issue. Oman officially recognised it as Arabian Gulf therefore it should be and was in fact consistent. Whatever you may think both sides have points. For example my mother family is originally from what is now southern Iran or what was known as Ahwaz. So the Arabs in fact lived on both sides of the Gulf until modern day Iran invaded and kicked them out.

    In regards to Palestine I don’t think this is the place for the talk. There is plenty of evidence outside and also inside the main news outlets to see that a nation state created by western powers by taking land they had colonised has oppressed the original inhabitants many to death. But again whether you pro Palestine or pro Isreal I think most people have made up their minds. I just wish the best for everyone. Enough war and killing. More peace. The place is big enough for everyone.

    Now in regards to the Middle East and the GCC in particular i fear that we will just be a small footnote in history. The greatest wealth the world has ever and perhaps will ever know has been spent on parties and posh pads for a select few whilst the area has less to give then Africa in terms of natural resources and in terms of people development less than countries with half the wealth. Our previous rulers (English) and new rulers (Americans) will always keep this place divided so that the governments can spend buying their weapons for jobs in Utah or wherever. What this world needs is more peace and understanding. Sadly though as long as humanity wants their wealth this region will not know peace.

  25. @Aaron, Jacinda, Mohamed

    Contrary to popular belief and what you were probably taught in your schools (I’m guessing in the countries that call this body of water, Arabian Gulf), this dispute has nothing to do with the “historic oppression” of the Persian Empire and or modern day Iran, or the maps being wrong, etc. Internationally, the recognized name is the “Persian Gulf” or “Gulf of Basra” in Turkish – although the Turks use Persian Gulf in English. Up until the 1960s, Arab countries also used the name Persian Gulf to describe this body of water.

    Ironically, Iran’s (then support) for Israel during the Arab-Israeli wars in the 1960s and early 1970s led Arab leaders to push for this name change as a Pan-Arabist/anti-Iranian drive. Books were rewritten, historic maps altered (see for example this map from the Dubai Museum – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Persian-gulf-dubai-mus.JPG), and Arab petro-dollars used to encourage the name change. With the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and the decreasing influence of Iran as a political and economic actor in the Western World, the alternative name became more prevalent. However, there are still international geographic conventions which luckily cannot be modified by Arab petro-dollars. Countries in the southern shores of the Persian Gulf simply cannot change the name of this gulf when its northern shores are shared with Iran, which vehemently opposes the name change (including what many Westerners feel is the ‘neutral’ term – The Gulf).

    @Pay: Iran cannot also change the name of the Gulf of Oman, which it shares with Oman and the UAE due to the above mentioned international conventions. Not that Iran wants to change name of the Gulf of Oman, since Iranians are much more mature than that, and have nothing to prove by such childish games.

  26. I went to school in the US, FYI 🙂

    Also, maybe Iran shares it’s shores with a bunch of Arab countries, and not the other way around? To each their own.

  27. I was expecting a racist name for a city or something or a 9/11 thing. There is not disturbing over calling a body of water what it is internationally recognized as. If I was on that flight I would demand the crew to enable the map because I really don’t care about the name of a body of water. I am Pakistani, so it bothers me to see Kashmir labeled as India on maps, but it certainly does not “trigger” me…

  28. I have been on several flights in the middle east with a few mid east carriers, and the maps say Palestine and not Israel. Nothing wrong with that.

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