A Delta Airlines flight from New York’s JFK Airport to Israel was delayed by half an hour after a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to female passengers. We discussed the same type of disruption on a flight in September by ultra-Orthodox travelers refusing to sit down until people moved around to accommodate their extreme religious views. What is astonishing is that the disruptive travelers faced no reported repercussions for delaying a flight or refusing to comply with the instruction of flight attendants.
Delta Flight 468 was bound for Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and the men were told repeatedly to sit down and refused. They insisted that women had to be moved to avoid their coming into contact with a member of the outside sex. Two women refused to accommodate what they viewed as discrimination despite the men offering money to the various passengers to comply with their demands. Finally, an American traveling to Israel changed seats to resolve the situation.
What is striking is that people are routinely pulled off planes for the slightest disruptions or failures to obey flight attendants. However, you can defiantly refuse to take your seats until passengers yield to your demands if you can a religious principle against sitting with women.
What is interesting is that when another group of ultra Orthodox men turned an El Al flight into a nightmare, many demanded that the airline adopt a rule to deal with such disruptive passengers. However, the airline has refused to adopt a policy to prevent future such disruptions, leaving passengers to the whim of these ultra orthodox travelers who refuse to let planes take off until women are removed from their rows.