March 14, 2011 (JTA) — An Alaska Airlines flight crew issued a security alert after three Mexican Orthodox Jews began praying with tefillin.
The flight attendants, who were concerned by the prayers being said aloud in Hebrew and the unfamiliar boxes with leather straps hanging from them, locked down the cockpit and radioed a security alert ahead to Los Angeles International Airport. (See: http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/03/14/3086391/alaska-airlines-detains-passengers-over-tefillin.)
(This sort of thing Nearly Happened To Me, in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in early 2002: the onlookers were a couple of antsy early-morning passengers watching me “wrap up” in a terminal alcove. “It’s a Jewish prayer thing,” I said, and left it at that. They were mollified, I met my obligations, and the world survived another day.)