A group of hareidi men who were supposed to fly to Israel from the United States on Delta Airlines flight Tuesday night refused to sit next to women, who in turn refused to switch seats, causing them to disembark from the plane.
Flight 468 was set to depart from Kennedy Airport in New York.
Upon boarding the plane the hareidi passengers asked the flight attendants to rearrange the seating arrangements, so they would not be sitting next to women. It soon became clear that the surrounding passengers would not comply with the request and the men preferred to get off the plane.
As a result of this incident, the flight was delayed an hour and a quarter, because of the need to locate the men's baggage which had already been placed in the plane's hold. Both the incident and the delay created loud indignation from the other passengers.
Regarding the incident, the airline has stated: "Delta Airlines flight 468 from New York, which was expected to land at Ben Gurion Airport at 14:35 pm, arrived an hour and a quarter late due to passengers who alighted from the plane before take-off. We had to delay the departure of the aircraft in order to locate their luggage and return it to them. "
A similar incident occurred in September when hareidi passengers on an El Al flight attempted to switch their seats. The flight, which landed in Israel on the morning of Rosh Hashana eve, was also delayed in New York.
The passengers who could not switch their seats immediately stood up and remained in place throughout the flight. It was reported that they crowded the aisles and inconvenienced fellow passengers and flight attendants.
As a result that incident, an online petition was launched at the end of September calling on El Al to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee.