Boeing 767-400 of United Airlines
Boeing 767-400 of United AirlinesiStock

A couple was forced to disembark before a flight’s departure over the weekend, after they repeatedly harassed haredi passengers.

According to a report by Yediot Aharanot, the incident occurred Saturday night on United Airlines flight UA90 at Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey, before takeoff to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

Before the 60 passengers scheduled to take part in the flight had boarded, one couple was reported harassing haredim in the terminal gate.

In one instance, the couple targeted a haredi student, telling him that haredim “are spreaders of the disease,” before yelling at him “Why aren’t you wearing the mask over your nose, too?”

After the passengers had boarded and been seated, the couple in question demanded that the flight crew not seat them anywhere near haredi passengers, insisting that haredi passengers be forced to “all sit together because they’re spreading diseases, we don’t want to be infected by them.”

Other passengers complained to the flight crew, and the couple were forced to disembark and return to the terminal gate.

One passenger, Shimi, said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot that the couple’s behavior was unprovoked, calling it “disgusting”.

“I don’t know why people would behave like this. The couple were just looking for haredi people to humiliate. Who talks this way? What have they done to them? Because they dress differently and live differently, that’s a reason to be unkind to them? They had to be taken off the plane, it was disgusting behavior.”

United Airlines later released a statement condemning the incident.

"United will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. When this case was brought to our attention, we dropped off these passengers and they were taken to a destination on a later flight. We appreciate the quick response of our crew who believe in a safe and respectful environment."