El Al cancels compensation deal for 'Shabbat flight' passengers

Following exposure of compensation deal, El AL attorneys announce: 'Deal is canceled.'

Tags: El Al
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

El Al
El Al

El Al Airlines on Tuesday canceled a compensation agreement which would have seen the company provide 2,152 shekels ($609) to each affected passenger, Israel Hayom reported.

The deal would have cost El Al a whopping 111,904 shekels ($31,682).

Passengers received a notice that "El Al's attorneys have announced that the deal is canceled," blaming the cancellation on Israel Hayom's announcement of the agreement. A significant portion of the passengers, however, has criticized the agreement prior to its cancellation. Some of the passengers said that they had flown to attend family events, and the additional ticket they were required to purchase cost more than the compensation they were to receive.

"Forgive me, but we're not stupid and El Al unfortunately are also not so stupid," Israel Hayom quoted one passenger as writing. "Tell the truth, does anyone think for a second that this will be kept secret? El Al knew this as well. Why can't we publicize this? Is it confidential security information? El Al knows that this sum is an embarrassment for them...they want to finish this business as if they were thieves at night."

"I don't want any money! I want an apology and a correction of the desecration of G-d's Name that they caused with their accusations and slander of an entire group of people, which they made collectively and in order to improve their standing and abuse the public's naivete so that they wouldn't lose and would be able to retain the upper hand."

The flight had been scheduled to depart New York’s JFK airport at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 22nd 2018, and land in Israel early Friday morning - several hours prior to the onset of Shabbat (the Sabbath) at sundown.

However, Flight LY002 left hours behind schedule due to the crew's failure to arrive on time.

Though the crew initially promised that the plane would still arrive in Israel before the beginning of the Sabbath, after the plane had taken off the captain informed the passengers that the flight would in fact reach Israel only after the start of the Jewish holy day.

As a result, the flight’s roughly 180 Orthodox Jewish passengers were allowed to disembark at Athens during an unscheduled stopover in Greece. They spent Shababt in Athens prior to returning to Israel on a different flight after Shabbat ended Saturday night.

After Flight LY002’s arrival in Israel, the religious passengers who had disembarked in Athens, were accused of attacking the flight crew. Doctored videos of passengers’ interactions with flight attendants soon went viral, and were even promoted by Channel 10.

Later, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin admitted publicly that there had been no violence on Flight LY002: "I never said that the haredim on the flight attacked anyone. There was no physical violence."