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Jewish passengers accuse Lufthansa of being antisemitic

Jewish passengers accuse Lufthansa of being antisemitic
Jewish passengers accuse Lufthansa of being antisemitic
Written by Harry Johnson

A number of Jewish airline passengers were banned from reboarding the aircraft by Lufthansa airline staff in Frankfurt, who claimed some of the travelers were not wearing masks during the last flight from NYC’s John F. Kennedy International Airport

The incident happened during a Frankfurt Airport layover for a connecting flight from New York to Budapest, Hungary last week.

A group of Orthodox Jewish flyers was removed from a Lufthansa plane after some were accused of flouting its masking requirements. Some expelled passengers claim that they complied with the rules and were removed solely for their religious identity, while non-Jewish travelers were allowed to go on their way. 

In footage allegedly filmed by one of the passengers during a heated exchange with an airline worker on Wednesday, Lufthansa staffer is heard saying “everyone has to pay for a couple,” referring to those who ran afoul of the masking requirement, and that “It’s Jews coming from JFK. Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.”

Responding, the bewildered passenger demanded to speak to a supervisor, “because this is 2022, this is a western country, and there’s a lot of history of antisemitism around the world, and this is gruesome. This is unbelievable.” 

He added “why do Jewish people pay for other people’s crimes?”

Many of the travelers were on a yearly pilgrimage to view the grave of a revered rabbi, Yeshayah Steiner, who is buried in a village in northern Hungary.

Reportedly, after issues on the previous flight from JFK over mask compliance, the stop in Frankfurt lasted longer than expected, as the plane did not begin boarding until 10 minutes after its scheduled departure time.

According to some travelers, the airline then began paging individual passengers by name, and that only those who “were not visibly Jewish” were allowed to board. 

One passenger identified said he was asked whether he belonged to “the group from NYC” after being paged by staff and answered that he was alone and had booked his own ticket. However, he said he was wearing distinctive Jewish religious garb during the interaction, and that by the time he was able to remove the garment and return with his bags, “the gate was closed, and he couldn’t board the flight.” 

The expelled passengers were also allegedly barred from booking another ticket to Hungary for a full 24 hours. 

Lufthansa issued a statement, confirming that a “larger group of passengers” was removed from the flight “because the travelers refused to wear the legally mandated mask (medical mask) on board.”

“For legal reasons we cannot disclose the number of guests involved in the incident, however Lufthansa has rebooked the guests on the next available flight to their final destination,” the company added. “A prerequisite for transportation is that the travelers complied with the mask mandate, which is a legal requirement.”

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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