In yet another incident of discrimination on airlines, a Rosh Yeshivah and his wife were forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in what they claim was a completely baseless and unsubstantiated accusation by a crew manager, Hamodia reports.
The couple were settling into their seats for a flight from Newark to Amsterdam en route to Israel for the wedding of their grandson when a cabin manager asked the Rebbetizin to put place a carry on bag in the overhead bin. When the Rebbetzin asked if she could just remove some items from the bag before stowing it, the cabin manager got visibly angry and told her, “I’m going to get you off this flight,” before storming off to request that police remove the couple, who are in their mid 70s.
While other crew members apologized for their work mate’s behavior and were otherwise courteous to the couple, the cabin manager returned with several police officers and accused the Rebbetzin of being “nasty.” He then ordered the couple to leave the plane as he was “concerned” the Rebbetzin would be disruptive during the flight.
The Rosh Yeshivah, who has been a marbitz Torah in the New York area for most of his life, told Hamodia that the surrounding passengers were “shocked” by the scene, but none uttered a word about the unfolding situation. The couple were the only visibly Orthodox passengers on the plane.
After disembarking form the airplane, the couple was offered various options for rebooking, but as they were not comfortable landing on Erev Shabbos, they opted to fly after Shabbos and miss the aufruf of their grandson.
The Rosh Yeshivah told the Hamodia that his wife had not in the least been “nasty,” and the incident had been motivated by antisemetism. The Rosh Yeshiva said he intends to file a lawsuit against the airline.
“I think I am within my rights to say that this was an open case of anti-Semitism and the arrogance of a manager who needed to show that no one would tell him what to do,” he said. “I guess Hakadosh Baruch Hu didn’t want us to make it to the aufruf, but what United did is not something that can go without a response.”
“United does not tolerate discrimination, and we are continuing to review what happened with the Newark team,” spokeswoman for United Airlines said.