Jews Barred From Lufthansa Flight Get $21K

By Reuvain Borchardt

NEW YORK — More than 100 Jews barred from a Lufthansa flight earlier this year because allegedly a small number had not complied with mask guidelines, have reached a settlement with the airline for approximately $21,000 each, and have begun receiving checks.

A passenger on the flight told Hamodia an agreement had been reached for each passenger to get “$21,000 and change,” and that he received a check for $17,400 after attorney fees. He said he felt the settlement was “fair.”

The passengers were represented by attorney Mark Goldfeder of the American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest firm focused on religious liberties.

Goldfeder told Hamodia in September that approximately 115 passengers had joined his suit. In response to an email request from Hamodia on Tuesday for information, Goldfeder confirmed that a settlement had been reached but said he could not comment further.

Lufthansa said in a statement to Hamodia, “Although we are not commenting on the details, we can confirm that Lufthansa endeavors to settle the claims with all of the passengers denied boarding on May 4th, 2022.”

In the May 4 incident, over 100 Jews traveling from New York to Hungary for the yahrtzeit of Reb Shaya of Kerestir were banned from their connecting flight, allegedly because a small number of them had not been wearing masks.

A video taken by a passenger and posted on the travel website Dans Deals shows the passenger telling a Lufthansa employee, “I was wearing a mask the whole time” and, “Why am I lumped in with them?”

“Everybody has to pay for a couple,” the agent responds, and goes on to say, “Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.”

The incident made international headlines, and Lufthansa has since expressed remorse for the incident and gone on an apology tour, holding meetings with passengers, elected officials, rabbis and Jewish community leaders.

The airline has said it will be providing antisemitism training to its employees in a joint initiative with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), that it would establish a senior management position “for the prevention of discrimination and antisemitism,” and endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

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