Lufthansa Pays Millions For Jewish Denied Boarding Fiasco

Lufthansa Pays Millions For Jewish Denied Boarding Fiasco

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This spring, Lufthansa made headlines for discriminating against Jewish passengers on a flight. There’s now an interesting conclusion to this story, as the airline and passengers have reached a settlement.

The basics of Lufthansa’s discrimination against Jews

This incident involves Lufthansa flight 401 from New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. There were many Orthodox Jews on the flight connecting to Budapest, and there were reportedly some mask compliance issues on the flight, to the point that the decision was made that these passengers should be denied boarding on their connecting flight to Budapest, due to not following crew member instructions.

That’s fair enough, though the issue is how Lufthansa handled the situation. Lufthansa didn’t just deny boarding to the specific passengers who were causing problems, but rather denied boarding to all “obviously” Jewish passengers, based on how they looked, or how their names sounded.

Some of the interactions were filmed, and one Lufthansa employee could be heard confirming that everyone was being punished for the crimes of some — “everyone has to pay for a couple.”

That’s not exactly a great look for anyone, especially a German airline…

Lufthansa settles, pays $21K to each passenger impacted

In addition to Lufthansa’s CEO personally issuing an apology for what happened, Lufthansa is now providing monetary compensation for the incident. As reported by DansDeals, Lufthansa has reportedly paid $21,000 to each passenger who was impacted by this incident.

This includes a settlement of $20,000, plus $1,000 to cover expenses resulting from being denied boarding. The law firm that negotiated the settlement is reportedly taking 18% of the $20,000, leaving each passenger with a payment of $17,400.

Checks have reportedly shown up in the mail. It’s estimated that somewhere around 130 passengers were denied boarding, meaning that Lufthansa has paid roughly $2.7 million. Wow, that’s not cheap.

This incident cost Lufthansa millions

Bottom line

Lufthansa has come to a settlement with the passengers who were denied boarding on a flight this spring. Specifically, Lufthansa is paying each passenger $21,000, and after legal fees, each passenger will get $17,400.

It’s nice to see that this story ultimately got amplified, and at least there was some justice — Lufthansa had to pay up, and Lufthansa’s CEO even had to personally apologize.

While Lufthansa had a case for denying boarding to those who weren’t complying with mask policies, it’s outrageous that the airline just denied all Jews boarding by association. Here’s to hoping that something like this never happens again.

What do you make of this Lufthansa settlement?

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  1. Randy Cook Guest

    Lufthansa is a crooked company that has preyed on its customers over the last couple of years. They announced a schedule change, invited me to apply for a refund, canceled my tickets, then denied my refund. They have stranded passengers (and luggage) all over Europe this past summer, without remedy. It is a $&#@% company that needs to be put out of business. Only wished they got sued for more.

  2. Lee Guest

    Clearly, a lot of readers are unaware of the facts. This story IS NOT about the group of Jewish passengers who WERE NOT wearing masks. This story IS about the Jewish passengers who WERE wearing masks and who WERE NOT affiliated with the group not wearing masks. These in-compliance Jewish passengers were expressly told (on video) that they were being denied boarding BECAUSE JEWS CAUSED THE PROBLEM AND THEY WERE JEWS.

  3. D.Chappelle Guest

    Reminds me of Dave Chappelle's comments. " If they are Black then it is a GANG", "If Italians it is a MOB", But if they are Jewish, it is a coincidence and you should never speak about it".
    "Two words in the English language that should be never spoken together, THE JEWS"

  4. Julia Guest

    It's too bad the individuals that caused the problem in the first place could be getting this cash payment as well.

  5. David Guest

    Indeed I also caught myself saying better not to comment. Regardless of this specific case and that the handling of the situation by the crew was wrong, as a German with Jewish ancestors (and an obviously Jewish first and last name), I saw this card being played way too often and I feel ashamed about it. Whenever useful it’s soo easy to bring forward your religion and the word antisemitism and you‘ll get what you...

    Indeed I also caught myself saying better not to comment. Regardless of this specific case and that the handling of the situation by the crew was wrong, as a German with Jewish ancestors (and an obviously Jewish first and last name), I saw this card being played way too often and I feel ashamed about it. Whenever useful it’s soo easy to bring forward your religion and the word antisemitism and you‘ll get what you want. I’ve experienced myself some of the orthodox fellows on the plane from NYC and adherence to rules or respect towards other passengers/ cabin crew was not their strength to put it mildly. And in the last 20 years I‘ve seen people being denied boarding or being dragged out of planes for much less, especially on US carriers. So no need to finger point or bring up the sentiment of the old antisemite German.

  6. Steven E Guest

    Best to not comment on this

  7. Goforride Member

    So did LH sue the non-compliant passengers that they were able identify?

  8. SG Guest

    I know I shouldn't be surprised at the lack of comprehension skills by commenters on the internet and yet here we are.

    Denying board to people who aren't abiding by the rules is fine.
    Denying boarding to people who are abiding by the rules but are the same religion (or appear to be based on dress or name) of those who aren't isn't fine.

  9. Maryland Guest

    "Obvious Jews, or their last names"? This is disturbing alone. That folks were persecuted (punished ) on name alone? If certain people did no wrong and suffered they should get a larger reward.

    1. Moe Guest

      At the time it was reported that this was based on appearance, i.e. religious garb or manner of dressing. The names were called one by one and the decision was made based upon appearance. It strongly resembled being called for "selection".

  10. Uncle Sam Guest

    The troublemaker passengers have won.

    You oaf. The article specifically says LH arbitrarily punished anyone with a Jewish last name, regardless of whether they were among the anti-mask crowd or not.

  11. Ned Guest

    Bigger issues at play here but check your numbers on 20k less 18%. No need to post this comment

    1. Ned Guest

      Plus the $1k ‍♂️ Apologies

  12. Alex Guest

    "especially a German airline" - discrimination is not to be accepted, no matter which country the airline is registered in. Very bad comment!

    But: I myself have suffered through multiple flights out of JFK where I witnessed exactly the behavior as described by other commenters: unruly, restless, no regard to the rules. And that always involved multiple individuals. And this is unacceptable too. And just because they are Jewish gives the right for a compensation...

    "especially a German airline" - discrimination is not to be accepted, no matter which country the airline is registered in. Very bad comment!

    But: I myself have suffered through multiple flights out of JFK where I witnessed exactly the behavior as described by other commenters: unruly, restless, no regard to the rules. And that always involved multiple individuals. And this is unacceptable too. And just because they are Jewish gives the right for a compensation for unruly behavior. This is unacceptable also!

    1. Uncle Sam Guest

      No, it's not "just because they were Jewish," you oaf. It is because they did nothing wrong and were punished for it based on their last name. (BTW, I am not Jewish, but I have a last name that is sometimes perceived as such; LH presumably would have singled me out, too.)

    2. RealLife Experience Guest

      And after flying 13 flights across the Atlantic in 2021, the only flight the cabin crew had mask compliance issues were on the United Airlines flight from London to Newark with 75 orthodox meals on board (talked with FA at baggage claim). MOST were NOT compliant with the safety rules. One aisle seat passenger put face mask over his eyes. Rude “bump” awaking on both visits past him.

      While wrong to criminalize and punishing...

      And after flying 13 flights across the Atlantic in 2021, the only flight the cabin crew had mask compliance issues were on the United Airlines flight from London to Newark with 75 orthodox meals on board (talked with FA at baggage claim). MOST were NOT compliant with the safety rules. One aisle seat passenger put face mask over his eyes. Rude “bump” awaking on both visits past him.

      While wrong to criminalize and punishing everyone, as a group Orthodox Jews do not follow mask mandates. But on an individualist level, some of the Orthodox Jews passengers were fairly compliant. Those considerate passengers should not punished for the actions of their fellow travelers and hence the payout to ALL.

  13. Christopher L Guest

    Okay, yes - punish the troublemakers. But the wholesale discrimination is absolutely wrong and it's distressing to see that such blatant anti-semitism still exists.

  14. John Guest

    Oh, poor old insufferable Lufty! If only you would concentrate on being a moderately adequate airline (because being a 'good', much less 'great' airline is impossible for you) instead of pissing off Jews and now Muslims too. Heck! I'm neither; but I think you're a terrible airline.

    1. Uncle Sam Guest

      A really long time ago, like 20 years, I took an LH flight from FRA-LAX. I was seated next to two people travelling DEL-FRA-LAX, who lived in the Punjab. The flight attendant came to me and asked if I wanted to be reseated, presumably because she thought it was unacceptable for a white dude to sit next to dark-skinned Indians. (Admittedly, they were wearing a lot of cologne.) I had a lovely chat with them about life in Punjab.

    2. Moe Guest

      I harbor no racist or bias thoughts but LH has fallen. When I was boarded last because of a dispute regarding my carry-on no LH cabin crew assisted me in reclaiming my seat occupied by an Indian family sitting together.
      Then again, LH caused me to board late by refusing entry to my carry-on AFTER it fit through the sizer. When I asked for the gate agent's name and photographed my carry-on in the...

      I harbor no racist or bias thoughts but LH has fallen. When I was boarded last because of a dispute regarding my carry-on no LH cabin crew assisted me in reclaiming my seat occupied by an Indian family sitting together.
      Then again, LH caused me to board late by refusing entry to my carry-on AFTER it fit through the sizer. When I asked for the gate agent's name and photographed my carry-on in the sizer he backed off. (He did decide to shut the escalator at the gate, simply to show his pettiness.)
      By the way, it appears that LH has always been a preferred carrier between India and the USA. I am not sure whether some of this market has been ceded to the ME3.

  15. LongWayAround Guest

    Lufthansa got off really cheaply here. No word about punishments for the staff involved.

    1. Ed Guest

      punishment of staff …… dream on!

  16. Rob in Miami Guest

    Troublemakers: people who think they do not have to play the rules of society.
    Race or Religion or Sexual etc
    That simple.

    1. Jen Guest

      Rob in Miami = Good German. I’m sure your compliant nature has made you very useful and served you very well.

  17. derek Guest

    The troublemaker passengers have won. They harm paying LH fliers, who have to indirectly pay for this.

    1. Samo Guest

      What troublemakers? People who followed the rules, wore masks and were still denied boarding?

      Hopefully it teaches Lufthansa a lesson and they will train their staff better.

    2. Max Guest

      Even those that have worn masks have been part of the troublesome travel group which has booked together on a group booking. And some individual booked passengers have assisted the culprits in staying anonymous, as they didn't help the Lufthansa crew to identify those who have done wrong but switched seats.

    3. Moe Guest

      Max, are you German?
      It was not a travel group anymore than many people traveling to Rom or Bethlehem for Christmas would be deemed a travel group. There were many people of similar garb and religion travelling to celebrate a specific date in history at the location. There was no "group booking" as LH later admitted.
      Your stating that individual passengers should assist the airline reeks of so much!
      Perhaps you should study the definition of Capo.

  18. Jan Guest

    This was really badly handled, they really should have punished only those, who didnt follow the rules.
    On the other hand, this spring I flew TLV-VIE and the flight was a total nightmare because of the group of ca 30 orthodox Judes. No one wearing masks, everyone walking everywere,talking to everyone, total mess on board, no one following cabin crew instructions, real nightmare

    1. fod Member

      It's a big recurring problem on many airlines, I know cabin crew that dread any flight with a high proportion of orthodox jews being obnoxious to fellow passengers: refusing to sit in their allocated seats if it's next to women, standing in the aisles for half of the flights and refusing to stay in their seats when the seatbelt signs are on, ignoring the crew, changing seat and making special meals an ordeal to deliver.

      Hell Aviv is the nickname.

  19. Eskimo Guest

    Now that's how to play a winning race card right.
    You get some extra money, and pay a surprisingly low lawyer fees.

    Money seems to solve everything including racial injustice. Paying a fine and get a pass doesn't sound like equality or nondiscrimination to me.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Eskimo

      18% is some hard fought negotiations.

  20. Klaus Guest

    Ah interesting. So discriminating Jews „with funny hair and beards“ should be socially accepted?

    1. Tim Guest

      That’s not my point, I was getting at a simple fact: If you are going to express your religious beliefs so very strongly, you must assume that you are going to polarize people that are not of your own cultural group. Same is valid for Musims laying out carpets openly in airports to pray or for Christians that take out a bible at an airport and begin lecturing loudly. You just plan on colliding…no need...

      That’s not my point, I was getting at a simple fact: If you are going to express your religious beliefs so very strongly, you must assume that you are going to polarize people that are not of your own cultural group. Same is valid for Musims laying out carpets openly in airports to pray or for Christians that take out a bible at an airport and begin lecturing loudly. You just plan on colliding…no need to freak out and play the Jew card. Just a sign of weak character.
      And by the way, Orthodox radical Jews are not renowned as the most tolerant people as well, are they?

  21. Adam Simmons Guest

    If the "freaky and crazy hardliners with their funny hair and beards" are doing no harm to any other customers and are abiding by the rules then there is simply no case for booting them off.

    1. Tim Guest

      Many of them were actually doing harm by not adhering with the mask mandate. If you had asked them on this flight, they would for sure have justified that with some religious reason.

    2. Jen Guest

      Your religion appears to be the utterly scientifically baseless mask-wearing Tim, lol. Let’s not honor yours at the expense of another.

    3. Tim Guest

      I am actually a believing Catholic, but I consider religion to be a private thing to be worshipped at home or in church. I expect nobody to accept or even tolerate my religious beliefs, that‘s why I keep them to myself. If you find that unusually secretive, you have not yet been to Germany, where masses of Muslim immigrants have made a secure and peaceful space for all cultures and religions slowly disappear, now followed...

      I am actually a believing Catholic, but I consider religion to be a private thing to be worshipped at home or in church. I expect nobody to accept or even tolerate my religious beliefs, that‘s why I keep them to myself. If you find that unusually secretive, you have not yet been to Germany, where masses of Muslim immigrants have made a secure and peaceful space for all cultures and religions slowly disappear, now followed by a culture of: Either you‘re German, or you‘re Muslim. There is nothing else and nothing in between. Radical religion has polarized Germany. And that‘s why I consider it to be so toxic. Hell, I would even feel offended by someone lecturing from the Bible these days!

    4. Julia Guest

      @Jen

      What an utterly asinine comment. In so many ways.

    5. Jen Guest

      Don’t worry, Julia, I’m no anti-masker. They come in very handy for when I am barefaced, bright eyed and bushy tailed and don’t feel like wearing makeup ;)

    6. Moe Guest

      The correct response would have been to single out the transgressors for punitive response. When LH employees or agents on behalf of LH took action against anybody dressing "Jewish" they were in the wrong. There were video recordings confirming this including a verbal statement by a female agent.
      By the way, it was reported that some of those passengers had travelled in premium classes where apparently LH cabin crew seemed unaware of the mask...

      The correct response would have been to single out the transgressors for punitive response. When LH employees or agents on behalf of LH took action against anybody dressing "Jewish" they were in the wrong. There were video recordings confirming this including a verbal statement by a female agent.
      By the way, it was reported that some of those passengers had travelled in premium classes where apparently LH cabin crew seemed unaware of the mask mandate and were sans mask. Talk about hypocrisy!

    7. Ed Guest

      That I don’t believe. Many, many flights during covid and LH was always very strict on the masks regardless of cabin class. Sleeping in FC - better hope the mask doesn’t slip!! Perhaps there was confusion bc any pax served meals or drinks may and must remove the mask while eating/drinking . (The particular flight discussed here or rather disastrous mass punishment afterwards is of course totally unacceptable.)

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Rob in Miami Guest

Troublemakers: people who think they do not have to play the rules of society. Race or Religion or Sexual etc That simple.

8
derek Guest

The troublemaker passengers have won. They harm paying LH fliers, who have to indirectly pay for this.

7
Jan Guest

This was really badly handled, they really should have punished only those, who didnt follow the rules. On the other hand, this spring I flew TLV-VIE and the flight was a total nightmare because of the group of ca 30 orthodox Judes. No one wearing masks, everyone walking everywere,talking to everyone, total mess on board, no one following cabin crew instructions, real nightmare

5
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