Orthodox Jewish girls kick off another flight to New York
- Insider previously reported that Orthodox Jewish girls were prohibited from boarding a flight on Thursday.
- The next day, the girls were ordered to leave a second Delta flight for trying to change seats.
- Their rabbi told Insider he suspected anti-Semitism was at play.
According to their rabbi, a group of Orthodox Jewish girls who were not allowed to board an Amsterdam-New York flight on Thursday evening took another flight the next day.
The 18 teens, who were part of a group that had visited religious sites in Ukraine, were initially not allowed to travel on a return flight due to a dispute over COVID-19 protocols on the stage operated by KLM from their trip from Kiev to Amsterdam, Insider previously reported.
A day later, Delta Air Lines allegedly kicked out the same girls for swapping seats on a Friday morning flight, Rabbi Yisroel Kahan said in an interview with Insider.
Kahan said he suspected anti-Semitism was at play in Delta’s decisions. “With anti-Semitism, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck,” he said.
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After the girls were banned from boarding the flight Thursday night, Kahan said, the group slept on benches at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as he and a chaperone attempted to organize their return trip.
Kahan said he and another rabbi had started calling New York lawmakers, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to contact Delta to remedy the situation.
Schumer allegedly intervened, the rabbi said, and Delta executives have personally called the parents of the stranded girls and arranged a Delta flight from Amsterdam to New York for Friday morning.
Schumer did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The girls boarded the Delta flight to New York from Amsterdam on Friday morning, but soon after, Kahan said they were asked to leave. “Ten minutes later the phone rings,” he said. “They got off the plane.”
The rabbi claims that one of the daughters was invited to change seats by a mother who wanted to sit next to her son. “The minute they made the exchange, a flight attendant rushed over to the girl and said, ‘You’re behaving badly, you’re a bit on thin ice, to start with, get off. the plane, “” he said.
A video seen by Insider appears to show a woman confirming that she asked to change seats and that this led to the girls being asked to leave the flight.
Although the girl returned to her assigned seat, Kahan said, the entire group of teenagers were told to leave the flight. He said the woman was allowed to stay on the plane because it was her “first transgression,” he said.
The rabbi said that while he hates to “throw that card out there,” he thinks the incidents smack of anti-Semitism.
“Either you tell me you know each of them was breaking the rules on both flights,” Kahan added. “Or you tell me you banned the whole group, a single ethnic group, for this misconduct.”
The girls were removed and booked on a Delta flight for later in the day, but refused to travel as it would have involved returning home after the start of Shabbat – the Jewish day of rest when observant Jews are not allowed to travel by car. or plane.
Instead, they spent the night in Antwerp, Belgium, and returned home to New York with United Airlines on Sunday morning.
In an email to Insider, a spokesperson for Delta said: “We apologize to our customers on Delta flight 47, Amsterdam to New York-JFK, who were delayed and inconvenienced in picking up a group. passengers who refused to comply with the crew’s instructions. The flight departed approximately two hours after the originally scheduled time. “