This one amazes me. There is no conceivable justification for it.
A group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to take their seats on Delta Airlines Flight 468 from New York’s JFK Airport bound to Israel, because their faith forbade them from sitting next to female passengers. The flight was delayed by 30 minutes while the crew negotiated with the men and the offending passengers—you know…women. Eventually, desperate to get the flight off the ground, some passengers agreed to trade seats.
In Ultra-orthodox Judaism, physical contact between men and unrelated women is forbidden.
Airlines routinely have disruptive passengers removed from flights, and this was not a situation that warranted an exception. I very much doubt that a white passenger refusing to sit next to an African-American would be tolerated, or a conservative Christian who refused to sit next to a gay traveler. The modern world forces all of us to make compromises, and there is no ethical justification for a sect, group or nationality that has cultural objections to how businesses operate or the principles of the culture that is hosting them to demand special exemptions from the rules that govern everyone else, to the detriment of everyone else. (A similar incident occurred on an Israel air line recently.)
If their extreme faith makes traveling difficult, that’s the problem of the Orthodox Jewish men and them alone. Charter a flight, don’t travel, suck it up and beg forgiveness when they land, convert—I don’t care. Their religious beliefs should not impose on other travelers in any way. For the airline to permit its female customers to be treated like social lepers is disrespectful, unfair, cruel, discriminatory and wrong. Two of the women involved are reportedly claiming discrimination: good.Delta should have to pay out significant damages.
Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur
7 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces Of The Air: The Crew Of Delta Flight 468”
Why didn’t these guys just reserve seats next to each other through a travel agency, thus sparing everyone else this difficulty? This is the sort of thing that Moslems occasionally try to get away with. If you don’t like the company there are alternatives. Driving, for example.
Just a note that this seems to have happened before, and there was some dispute as to whether overbooking might have caused the problem. No idea of the merits, but airlines do overbook and this was during the holidays: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/haredim-claim-delta-overbooked-and-falsely-blamed-them-for-delay/2014/10/23/
Thank you—fascinating. Either way, the fault is ultimately Delta’s, but falsely placing blame on the Orthodox Jews would be especially outrageous.
Thanks for posting the link. There will be no follow up story in the mainstream media, because this does not fit the desired narrative. Interesting that Delta allowed this narrative to begin. Big mistake.
I find this suspect as Orthodox men routinely ride busses, subways, that can be quite crowded and often will find themselves in close proximity to women. Incidental, unintended contact involves no prohibition. While I’m sure these passengers preferences would be to sit next to other men, if the only available seat was next to a woman, I’m quite sure they’d take it.
Especially during this time of year in New York, where people cover themselves up from head to toe.
I don’t think it is that suspect. The *ultra* orthodox, for which this is an issue, don’t represent a great percentage of Judhaism…
I don’t even think “ordinary” orthodox folk take issue with these interactions. But I may be wrong.