Passengers on an El Al flight from New York have accused the carrier of kidnap after what’s been termed as a “nightmare” experience on a delayed flight to Tel Aviv. It’s alleged that some were told that they would be allowed to disembark due to religious reasons, but instead the plane departed JFK.
A group of passengers on a recent Tel Aviv-bound El Al flight have accused the carrier of kidnapping after what some have described as a “nightmare” experience, The Jerusalem Post reports. The incident occurred last Thursday on-board El Al Flight 002, which was scheduled to depart New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) at 6:30 p.m. local time and to arrive in Tel Aviv during the afternoon of the following day.
However, the outlet reports that the flight’s departure from JFK was delayed by five hours because of snow storms and tardy cabin crew.
Just before its departure from JFK, the outlet reports that “religious passengers began to request stridently to disembark since they realized that the flight would continue into the Sabbath on Friday evening, a violation of Jewish religious law.”
This group of travelers, according to the outlet, were intent upon exiting the plane, a point that allegedly delayed the craft further. Others, however, have denied that this confrontation took place, but have offered their criticism of crew in their treatment of those who wanted to disembark for religious reasons.
It seems that, despite being told that the plane would return to the gate, the craft instead departed JFK.
Speaking of the incident, passenger Yehudit Rossler told the outlet, “We were locked in a cage … The people we trusted to take us safely to Israel were in their cabin not talking to us and leaving the flight attendants to talk to us.”
“They kidnapped us from New York. They told us we were going back to the gate, and took off instead,” Rossler added.
Offering his comments on the incident, Gonen Usishkin has said, “I decided to put together an investigative committee that would research all of the events that occurred on flight 002 and all of the witness accounts and arguments. The committee will present its results and recommendations soon and afterwards, I will make decisions on the topic.”
It is alleged that some of the flight’s passengers are planning on taking legal action against the carrier.