Man Attacks Delta Contractor in JFK SkyClub, Promises Trump Will Rid Country of Muslims

Hotels left and right are being taken over by ISIS. You never know when your airline employee might just be a terrorist sympathizer.

Or so must have gone the thinking of Robin Rhodes, President of a Worcester, Massachusetts metal company, during a layover in New York. He attacked an employee at a New York JFK Delta SkyClub (HT: One Mile at a Time).

Robin Rhodes, of Worcester, Massachusetts, had arrived from Aruba and was awaiting a connecting flight to Massachusetts on Wednesday night when he approached Rabeeya Khan, who wears a hijab, at the Sky Club in Terminal 2 while she was sitting in the utility office, authorities said.

…Khan told police that Rhodes came to the door and went on a profanity-laced tirade, asking her if she was praying, District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. Rhodes then punched the door, which hit the back of Khan’s chair, he said. The 60-year-old Khan asked Rhodes what she had done to him and Rhodes said she’d done nothing, authorities said. He then cursed at her and kicked her in the leg, Khan told police.

…Rhodes, 57, followed her, got down on his knees and began to bow down to imitate Muslim prayers and shouted obscenities, investigators said.

Khan recalled Rhodes saying: “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you…”

The employee doesn’t work for Delta, instead they’re a contractor working for ISS, which is even close in spelling to ISIS.

Virgin Australia and some other airlines have kiosks at the entrances of their lounges that customers can use to verify lounge access.

What Delta needs is a similar kiosk that customers can use to verify that employees and other guests are not in fact jihadists.

Here’s how it works (HT: Kalil D.):

Someone should tell Mr. Rhodes that the acting administrator of the TSA wasn’t born in the U.S. and she used to direct the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office! His mind might explode, but if the explosion was nuclear she’d be able to detect it.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Supreme leader trump will mandate Delta and other airlines to build smart walls at their lounges (Mexico will pay for these too) that can detect enemies of our great nation, to keep them out, as well as patriotic deplorables, so they can get in.

  2. @Reese

    Oh come on. You admit this guy is a “Whack Job”. He’s no more representative of the average Trump supporter than Ashley Judd or Madonna is of a typical Hillary supporter.

    People, especially those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, just need to take a deep breath and get on with their lives.

  3. The road we are on is a dangerous one. I doubt the Germans woke up one day and decided they needed to kill the Jews that lived next door. It starts more gradually. Here we have labelled this guy a “Whack Job”, but I guarantee that a not insignificant number of people out there are calling him a patriot.

  4. What Aziz Ansari said on SNL. Somehow all the racists suddenly think its OK. This Robin Rhodes guy should be added to the Federal no-fly list immediately. Also funny how most of the racists fly Delta…

  5. Not sure why you would post this incredibly unsuccessful attempt at humor – with an apparently real act of inhumanity as its base.

  6. Hi Gary – This story has been published online everywhere. Yes, we know there are racists, and yes, some of them travel, and yes, some are even Delta travelers. Still I don’t see why it’s important for you to publish it on a travel blog. Don’t get me wrong, I think that your blog is great and frequently useful and informative. I know that this story is entertaining and sad, and it must draw a lot of traffic to all the travel blogs – that’s why I see it headlining many of the blogs at boarding area. I’m sorry if I’m not articulating this well but, hopefully you see where I’m coming from.

  7. I don’t see the point of posting this story on a travel blog like Gary’s. Most of the time he publishes very informative posts/articles that provide his readers with insight on nuances of travel, including frequent flyer programs, airline management, logistics, competition in the industry, etc. This sad event could have happened anywhere, but, I personally don’t feel that just because it happened in an airline lounge, that it makes it a great/useful article for Gary. It’s just sensationalism.

  8. @Ron hate crimes have risen 55% since Nov of last year, there is no correlation between Trump and this? Really….. BTW, how do you like the new Tax places on us Americans to pay for the wall???

  9. The point is that Trump, whether he meant to or not, has coarsened American society and apparently removed a more of politeness that made it gauche and unacceptable even when drunk to criticize people for their religious wear, their national origin, etc. I suspect the perp was a couple too many rum drinks over the limit, and with inhibitions removed we heard how he really feels, which is deplorable in both real and labeling senses. Re-bottling this demon is going to be tough, but we all need to do it if we want to live in the civilized society we thought we had reached. Speak up; make this kind of stuff unacceptable again.

  10. Most of the brainwashed Donald Duck supporters are either illiterate or ignorant or too lazy to read/study for real facts. They would rather be spoon-fed of garbage commentary by the extremist Hannity/FoxNews/Rush and the likes..and blame ALL of their problems on “others/minorities” rather than looking at the mirror..Well, be stuck-in-the-mud and never improve..

  11. Thanks for posting this, Gary. And thanks for explicating Gary’s point, @SST, in response to @Steve.

    @Jon, I’ll respectfully disagree with your disagreement with Gary about whether he should post stories like this at a travel blog. I want to know what’s going on at the airport and on planes, and if the ugly politics of the world outside is intruding. We certainly should not leap to the conclusion that most Trump supporters are this way. But along with many other matters, I want to be informed about how his rhetoric and actions might be setting off some very ugly ripple effects. If a thoughtful travel blogger like Gary sees fit to track and post about this stuff, more power to him.

  12. @Jim – the story just suggests that this massachusetts businessman has contributed to the campaigns of massachusetts democrats who are mostly liberal or democrat. Even Trump donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns. what of it?

  13. Forty years ago I escaped the bigotry and enforced ignorance of rednecks and escaped to California welcomed by the Eagles and Linda Rondstadt. Bliss. But within a few years I heard rednecks again over almost every AM radio station and wondered if they could actually take over. They did, wrecked the economy, destroyed our reputation permanently in the world, nearly collapsed the world financial system with their perfect icon Bush.

    Even more enraged when we hired a black guy to clean up the mess, they’ve come back now with their deranged conman pumpkinhead in a fat suit, determined to finish the job. Maybe now the US will realize what the rest of the modern world now teaches in their schools: the American red neck is a destroyer of civilization.

  14. @Another Steve – Of course, the airport and planes are not separated from the world of politics. Clearly not everyone who travels is more enlightened than the public at large in terms of openness and respect for others. 90% if not more than 99% of us would agree that the guy in this story is a jerk. I don’t blame his deplorable behavior on anyone else; it’s reprehensible, and I think it’s too easy to use this one example to blame any one politician.

    My point though is that this story has been published everywhere on the web – why, because it drives traffic. Neither Gary’s post nor most of the others get beyond the superficial level to discuss the more challenging aspects of balancing openness, tolerance and acceptance of other people and their cultures against the need to protect people from others who may want to do harm. I’m not saying that they should or that it’s why I come here anyway (but then don’t post it at all).

    If Gary needs to publish the same article that all the other bloggers are posting because it drives clicks, then so be it. I just hope that he continues to publish the more educational and insightful blog posts that demonstrate deeper analysis pertaining to travel that I can’t find elsewhere. I can go to plenty of other blogs and general soft news sites to learn about another passenger being kicked off a plane for rude and obnoxious behavior or someone in a Sky Club doing something that we all can agree is not right.

  15. The guy who attacked this woman is crazy. Unfortunately Trump will bring out the worst in people instead of the best in people. His policy is similar to what the U.S. did during WWII when they did not want Jews coming into the U.S. out of fear they were Nazi’s. It was a disgraceful policy then and it’s a disgraceful policy now. Of course we need to be vigilant but all he’s doing is creating even more enemies around the world against the United States. Whatever happened to “speak softly and carry a big stick”? His ego demands that the entire world knows what he’s doing.

  16. Seems like the man was right. Trump is ridding the country of Muslims. Only question is who will he get rid of next.

  17. Thank you for the heads up at the Delta lounges….I had not read this story anywhere else. Getting ready for two separate trips overseas out of JFK– it is good to be informed and BOLO. It is very sad that this is the type of behavior exists. It sounded like the woman tried to converse with the mad man…which just made it worse. How do you deal with ignorance?
    My hope is for everyone to have safe travels and enlightened experiences.

  18. Gary Leff, Thought Leader in Fake News

    There have been many reports of violence relating to the Trump election. Before the election Robert Creamer was forced to resign from the official Hillary campaign staff when WikiLeaks revealed that one of his jobs was to hire people to go to Trump rallies and start fights to “prove how Trump incites violence”. (sic)

    There were multiple police complaints of young Moslem women who said they were accosted in public by Trump supporters who pulled the scarfs off of their heads while demeaning them. Guess what, the police discovered these reports were made up, and the women have been charged with making false reports.

    Left wing activists have been spray painting KKK on public monuments, and blaming that on Trump supporters, to “prove” that Trump is a “Nazi”.

    The only absolutely accurate accounts of election related violence involve left wingers who have attacked Trump supporters, beating them severely, some of whom were only suspected of being Trump supporters due to their being “white”.

    And of course, the several hundred people who rioted during the Inauguration, smashing windows in banks and Starbucks, and sending police officers to the hospital. Along with setting fire to a Limo that turned out to belong to a legal Muslim immigrant. The Limo was totaled, at a loss of some $70,000 to him, since damages due to riots are not covered by insurance.

    Now this guy does a totally senseless thing and tries to blame it on Trump. It’s fake news, as Jim’s link at 11:20 shows:

    “A story that a supporter of Donald Trump invoked the president’s name in an attack on a Muslim airline employee grew more complicated as the alleged assailant’s political giving shows a long history of donations to liberal Democrats.

    And yes, I know I am violating Godwin’s law, but this is indeed the sort of thing the real Nazi’s did. For instance blaming the Reichstag fire on the Comintern, and using that to imprison the whole party. The technical name for this is “False Flag operation”.

    So sorry to see this blog promoting this sort of truly fake news hate crime against the POTUS.

  19. @jon I do think this is travel news. 1. Delta 2. airport lounge. How is this any different then the guy that yells Trump Trump while boarding a plane? All these idiots do is make it harder for the rest of us to travel!

    Remember when you can walk up from your car right into the plane with out a 2 hr wait to check in, get your bags x rayed, shoes x rayed, body scanned, cavities searched and your personal life examined because of these people!

    Drunks, druggies, bombers, terrorist, political ziots and MENTAL nut jubs have made it difficult to for the 99.99% of us to travel and we have to pay for it too.

  20. Sorry, I don’t think this travel news. It is now the new routine for America. We are stuck with this for 4 years. Nobody thought he would win and he did. Sucks to be us.

  21. Robert Hanson, I just tried to verify every point you vomited above since none of it has been reported in mainstream media. Using the most skilled Google Fu one can possess, Not one item could be verified beyond the farthest right Fringe websites. Now tell us who has the fake news! Now waddle down to your mother’s basement and post on Breitbart where you along with the other loonies who chew their legs off in public. belong

  22. Why is Gary reporting this heinous act by a Trump supporter in the Delta lounge at JFK fake news? It was also reported elsewhere. This isn’t the first time a Delta flyer was accused of this type of disgusting behavior. I remember not long ago a Trump supporter in Atlanta yelling at the female passengers on his plane calling them all kinds of nasty names. I believe even Delta apologized for not removing him from the aircraft. It’s news and it happened. Fake news is when something is reported that never happened. Clearly not the case here.

  23. Any time I hear anybody trying to stick up for another Orange Hitler “Suck-Butt”, it is time to stop reading ignorant replies!

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