Jewish Flight Lesson 101: No Connections Before Shabbat

Jewish passengers stranded in Istanbul without kosher food after flight delay from New York forced them to miss connection to Israel.

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Uzi Baruch, Cynthia Blank,

Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
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Flying to Israel with a connection is commonplace for travelers trying to save a buck, but it may not be the best idea to do so on a Friday afternoon before Shabbat. 

This past Thursday, a group of religious Jews traveled to Israel from New York with Turkish company "Turkish Airlines." Flights are significantly cheaper with this airline, because of the stopover in Istanbul, before a short flight to Tel Aviv.

But to the dismay of dozens of Jewish passengers on the plane from New York to Turkey, the flight was delayed by several hours. As a result, the plane arrived late, only a few hours before Shabbat, and passengers missed their connecting flight to Tel Aviv. 

Passengers informed Arutz Sheva that in the midst of the flight from New York to Istanbul, the crew promised Jewish passengers that their connecting flight would wait despite the delay. 

As such, Jewish passengers disembarked in Turkey on Friday afternoon and rushed for their connecting flight. 

Much to their surprise, the connecting flight for Israel had already taken off, not waiting as they were told it would, even though it had only been a delay of twenty minutes. 

Turkish Airlines officials were forced to announce to the Jewish passengers that they would not be spending Shabbat in Israel as planned, but would be directed to a hotel in Istanbul. 

The company provided non-kosher meal vouchers for the hotel, forcing the religious Jews on the flight to eat fruits and vegetables for all of Shabbat. 

After Shabbat ended, Turkish Airlines announced that a connecting flight would depart from Istanbul early Sunday morning at 1:00 a.m., thus ending their long, exhausting journey from New York to Israel. 

The moral of the story: connecting flights are cheap but should probably not be utilized on Friday at the risk of being stranded for Shabbat.