A group of Orthodox Jewish girls visiting Europe from the US is suing KLM and Delta airlines for alleged discrimination experienced on the flights.
Last summer, a group of 19 Orthodox Jewish teenage girls were travelling to Europe from the United States to visit Holocaust memorials in Ukraine and the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. They were accompanied by chaperones, including their rabbi. The group claims that they were discriminated against and faced antisemitism from the employees of both KLM and Delta airlines.
According to Business Insider, on their way home to New York, on a KLM flight from Kyiv to Amsterdam, several of the girls were disciplined by flight attendants for removing their face masks to snack on kosher food outside of the plane’s set mealtimes, reports the NL Times. The girls say their fellow passengers were not disciplined for the same behaviour.
The girls claim they eventually received a „final warning” and were threatened with being arrested if they do not comply with the rules. The plaintiffs claim this was „solely for the purpose of unlawfully harassing plaintiffs because of their Jewish race, ethnicity, and/or religion.” When the group arrived to the Amsterdam airport, a KLM security official told them they were not allowed to board their next flight home. This ban included members of the group who had not been on the previous KLM flight.
Ultimately, the group slept in Schiphol Airport, while attempting to arrange another flight. After they managed to get on a different flight operated by Delta Air Lines, where one of the girls swapped seats with another passenger and the group was subsequently ordered off the plane for „misbehaving.” The plaintiffs also claim they were taunted by a KLM security official at the airport after they were deplaned.
Delta Air Lines and KLM declined to comment on the events.