A group of around 100 Orthodox Jews from New York say they were barred from boarding a connecting flight to Germany last week – because some had not worn masks on the previous leg, according to information.
The group boarded from JFK Airport in Queens to begin a religious pilgrimage to Budapest, Hungary. They stopped over in Frankfurt on Wednesday – but when they tried to board their next plane from Germany to Hungary, they were not allowed to board.
The group said they were all barred from the Lufthansa jet because a handful of them did not wear masks on their inbound journey from New York.
“For operational reasons coming from the flight from New York, for all passengers here, we have to cancel you on this flight,” said astonished members of the group who were told at the gate, according to Jewish media Hamodia. .
US flights no longer require masks, but German law has kept the mandate intact for travel. It was unclear if the group members who were not wearing masks on the US flight were willing to put on face masks for the Lufthansa trip.
But either way, when some members of the mask-wearing group began to object to being grouped together for their next leg, a Lufthansa staff member reportedly admitted they were all being punished for the actions of those not wearing them. no mask before.
“They explicitly said that no one who is dressed the same on this [JFK] The plane will board the Lufthansa plane for Budapest,” group member Nachman Kahana told Hamodia.
Only “one or two” had not worn a mask on the previous flight, Kahana noted.
One of the Orthodox Jews in the group questioned an airline staff member about the mass exclusion of a tense video posted on Twitter.
“Is it a Lufthansa decision that all Jews on this flight, we can’t take another flight today?” asks the incredulous man. “Because it’s 2022, and it’s a western country. So it’s to go to senior management because it’s a [anti-Semitic act].”
Lufthansa denied the charges in a statement to Hamodia.
“We find the allegation of anti-Semitism unjustified and baseless,” the company said.
“We confirm that a larger group of passengers could not be transported today on Lufthansa flight LH1334 from Frankfurt to Budapest, as travelers refused to wear the legally required mask on board,” it said. he added – without specifying which stage of the journey he was referring to. to and seeming to suggest that the lack of masks was widespread.
The group said they eventually split up and reached Budapest with other airlines. It is not clear if everyone wore a mask on these flights.