Another airport sit-off between haredim and women

An Austrian Airlines flight to Vienna was delayed for 40 minutes because 26 haredi passengers refused to sit near women.

Uzi Baruch,

Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
Airport Authority spokesperson

The takeoff of Austrian Airlines flight OS860 from Ben Gurion Airport to Vienna was delayed for 40 minutes Friday because 26 haredi passengers refused to sit in the seats assigned to them. The reason for the sit-off: Some of the haredim were seated next to women.

The pilot came out of the cockpit and persuaded the women to move to other seats. One of them was placed next to an emergency exit.

The chairman of the Yesh Atid party, MK Yair Lapid, tweeted that the haredim were a "backward" group that yet again "transferred and humiliated women on a flight".

"If only for once they would be removed from the flight without trepidation and without a refund, this shameful state of affairs will end," he stated.

The haredi group said that it had reserved a concentrated group of seats in a flight scheduled for Thursday but that flight had been cancelled and they were placed on the Friday flight at the last moment, in different seats.

Some haredi streams are extremely strict regarding laws of modesty and do not allow men to sit next to women who are not their wives. Most are not quite so strict.