Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019 - 15 of Adar I, 5779
USA

US Jewish organisation urges Spirit Airlines to apologize to Jewish Orthodox family for ‘antisemitic nightmare’ flight’

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An eyewitness declared : ‘’It was disgusting. . . . It was antisemitism.  The guy [the male flight attendant]was full of hatred.  You could see it.’’

NEW YORK—The Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA) protested the ”shocking” way an Orthodox Jewish family was reportedly treated by employees on a Sopirit Airlines flight from Newark to Fort Lauderdale.

According to a report in the New York Post, as Chana and Yisroel Beck and their three infant children boarded the flight in Newark, the couple wanted to take aboard a baby carriage that converts into a seat for their one-month-old baby but a flight attendant firmly told them not to take aboard despite the fact that the family initially obtained the authorization of a gate agent at the airport.  When an argument ensued, the flight attendant reportedly told the Orthodox Jewish father to “shut up.”

One passenger from Rockland County who is identified in the article only as Binyamin told the paper that the flight attendant used anti-Semitic language, telling a colleague something about “those retarded Jews.” The nearby passenger said that he was so appalled by the blatant anti-semitism that he approached the Beck family to inform them that he would vouch for them if necessary.

An eyewitness declared : ‘’It was disgusting. . . . It was antisemitism.  The guy [the male flight attendant]was full of hatred.  You could see it.’’

Spirit employees continued to target harass and humiliate this Orthodox Jewish family.  When the father attempted to bring his two-year-old to the toddler’s mother, the same male flight attendant ordered him back to his seat.  When the plane landed, the family was forcibly escorted off the plane by police and ground staff – reportedly because they allegedly “had not been wearing seat belts.”  Airline employees reportedly informed the family that they should “find another flight home” and were banned from future Sprit flights.

In a letter to  Edward M. Christie III,  President, CEO and Director of Spirit Airlines, an airline based in Florida, ZOA called on Spirit Airlines to apologize to the Jewish family and fire the employees that participated in the ‘’antisemitic nightmare flight.’’

‘’The treatment this Orthodox Jewish family endured is unconscionable and inexcusable – especially because the family reportedly complied with all directives of the crew on the flight.  Spirit compounded its wrongdoing by issuing a statement, blaming the family and expressing pride in its employees instead of the condemnation and shame the employees deserved,’’ wrote ZOA  National President, Morton A. Klein, in the letter.

A Spirit spokesman said that “records indicate that this guest ignored flight and ground crew instructions multiple times, beginning with the boarding process and continuing through landing.”

He said the airline will “launch an investigation and take these matters very seriously.”

ZOA told  Spirit Airlines that the organisation ‘’is comprised of thousands of members and supporters around the U.S.  We intend to alert them to the outrageous antisemitic nightmare your employees inflicted on an Orthodox Jewish family that Spirit was supposed to serve.’’

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