Dozens of haredi passengers sue El Al

Haredi passengers stranded in Athens in November sue El Al for damages. El Al: We operate in accordance with the law.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

El Al plane (file)
El Al plane (file)
Moshe Shai/Flash 90

Dozens of haredi passengers are suing El Al, claiming they were not allowed to disembark to avoid desecrating Shabbat (Sabbath).

The flight in question, which flew from New York to Israel in November 2018, allowed religious passengers to disembark only in Athens to avoid landing after the start of Shabbat. Passengers received free tickets to Europe as compensation.

According to News 12, 52 haredi passengers are demanding hundreds of thousands of shekels in compensation for what they call "negligent and irresponsible management" on the part of the company.

According to the passengers, flight attendants arriving late caused the flight to be delayed, and throughout the flight staff promised that they would land before Shabbat, something which did not happen. A total of 180 passengers were forced to remain in Athens for Shabbat, in a hotel which was prepared for only 50 visitors. In addition, the religious passengers' luggage had continued on to Israel with the rest of the passengers.

"It seems that 13 minutes after takeoff, the expected time of arrival in Tel Aviv changed to a time which was after the start of Shabbat," attorney Asher Rotbaum said. "El Al could have, at least, minimized the passengers' problems by returning the flight to New York."

"We are demanding compensation for the enormous suffering and heartache caused to the passengers. These passengers are religious haredim who wanted to spend Shabbat in Tel Aviv, not in Athens and wearing the same clothes for three days."

El Al responded: "El Al operates in accordance with the law. The company has received the suit and will issue a legal response as is accepted."