Once again travelers are furious at El Al, although this time it is unclear who is to blame for the embarrassing mishap. Flight LY028 from Newark airport landed on Friday morning in Israel with close to 200 frum Jews on board, about 160 of them returning from the wedding of the grandson of the Bobover Rebbe, shlita. They received notice that their suitcases – containing their Shabbos clothes – remained “for security reasons” in Newark.
The passengers were left without their baggage and are furious and disappointed by El Al’s service. “We were told that we were dealing with security reasons, but the feeling was that this was a technical malfunction that left us in this situation,” the passengers said.
According to the passengers’ claims, the loading of the suitcases began late and an argument arose between the pilot and the security forces. The pilot announced that he was not waiting any longer and took off immediately, leaving two pallets with about 200 pieces luggage outside the plane.
The weary passengers, instead of going home after their flight home, had to stand in long lines at the airport, to register to locate and receive their baggage – when it will arrive.
El Al said in response to the claims: “Due to the lack of manpower of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in Newark airport, some of the baggage was delayed by an inspection and arrived at our security check after loading the plane.
“El Al is in contact with the passengers and is working to fly the cargo to Israel without delay.
“We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers.”
Last week, a serious storm arose between El Al and the religious public after a plane departed late from New York and its landing was expected very close to the onset of Shabbos. The company decided to land the religious passengers in Athens but later accused them of violence on the flight, which turned out to be untrue through the testimonies of journalists on the flight who documented the events.