A flight attendant sings an announcement on the Christmas flight (photo: YouTube)
The American airline Delta Airlines has confirmed that it is investigating an incident in which a flight attendant allegedly referred to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (and his family members) with the preposition "you", in what appears to be an anti-Semitic slur.
The incident occurred as passengers boarded a Delta flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to New York's LaGuardia Airport on Monday, January 23.
This is according to the same man who was at the center of the incident, and who told his story to the ultra-Orthodox news website Hamodi, which is also published in the English language.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that after receiving permission to board the flight, the flight attendant gave him an ultimatum: either he gets off the plane or the flight attendant refuses to work, which will cause the flight to be cancelled.
The first dispute with the flight attendant occurred when the man boarded Delta flight DL1541 on Monday evening with his carry-on bag next to a designated hat bag (apparently a carry-on bag for Streimel).
He placed these two items in the overhead compartment, prompting an almost immediate reaction from the flight attendant.
According to the passenger's report, the flight attendant walked up to him and commented: "You always have tons of luggage. Why can't you put the hat bag under your feet?"
The use of "you people" implies people of a certain origin - in this case Jews - and can also be interpreted in an anti-Semitic way.
The passenger told the reporters that he agreed to comply with the flight attendant's request if the need arose, but at the beginning of the dispute he claimed to her that there was enough space in the overhead storage compartments for other additional bags.
The flight attendant gave the passenger an ultimatum.
Delta Airlines (Photo: ShutterStock)
"The flight attendant took his bag angrily"
However, a short time later, it is suspected, the flight attendant returned to take the man's bag, with the aim of transferring it to another place.
When he told her to put his things down, the flight attendant left the scene but soon returned with the ground crew members, who escorted him off the plane.
After getting off the plane, the passenger said that he received permission to board the plane even before the flight attendant threatened to get off the plane herself, if they would indeed allow him to return to the flight.
The passenger also said that Delta chose to keep the flight attendant on the flight - and offered him hotel accommodation for that night, as well as a travel voucher for $500.
One of the eyewitnesses on the flight supported the passenger's story and claimed that "the flight attendant took his bag in anger for no reason."
The passenger's lawyer emphasizes that the man's luggage was within Delta's allowed baggage allowance.
"Delta is aware (of the issue) and is in the preliminary stages of investigating the matter," the airline said in a statement referring to the incident.
"We are committed to using the results of this investigation to reach a full understanding of the events that took place, and to respond accordingly."
As you may recall, last November the German airline Lufthansa agreed to pay $2.7 million in order to settle a lawsuit filed against it by a group of Jewish passengers who claimed they were kicked off a flight because they "looked" Jewish.
Moreover, following this incident, which happened in May 2022, Lufthansa announced that it would appoint an "Anti-Semitism Director" who would deal with cases of this type of discrimination.