A Chasidic man was thrown off a flight heading from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to LaGuardia Airport in New York after he ostensibly put too much luggage in the overhead compartment, YWN reported.
According to a man who reportedly videoed the incident, a flight attendant said the Chasidic man had placed too much luggage in the overhead bins and that he had to check in some of his luggage. When he refused, the flight attendant took the luggage down herself to check it in.
The Chasidic man demanded his luggage back, to which the flight attendant replied that he either has to check in the luggage or be removed from the plane. He then placed the luggage back in the overhead bins and so he was kicked off the flight, the passenger said.
According to the passenger’s account to VIN News, the passenger boarded the flight, carrying only one carry-on suitcase and one hatbox, both of which were within the allowed size and weight limit as per Delta’s domestic baggage rules and regulations, VIN News reported.
However, as soon as he sat down, a stewardess and a member of the flight crew immediately came running over to him and told him, “You people (referring to orthodox Jews) always have tons of luggage. Why can’t you put the hat box under your feet?” He politely replied that he could and would do so if it became necessary, however at this point there was no reason to move it as the overhead bins were still empty. The stewardess then went back to the rear of the airplane.
Less than two minutes later, she returned, enraged and without consent, took his carry-on suitcase from the top bin and started walking it out of the plane. He immediately followed her and politely told her that the suitcase was his private property and didn’t consent to remove it. To which she replied, “If you don’t let me, I will show you.” She returned the luggage, and he put it back on the overhead bin, and sat down.
According to the man’s attorney, “the main supervisor of the airline at the airport was very nice and even gave him her personal cell phone number and acknowledged that he was a victim of discriminatory behavior. However, she explained that according to Delta’s policies, she couldn’t remove a stewardess and had no way of fixing the wrong. Additionally the man reached out to multiple passengers who were sitting nearby, and they have confirmed his account of the incident.”
The man says that the incident has caused “major damage to his reputation and life.” He “has been contacted by hundreds of business associates, friends, and family members trying to understand why this happened. This has caused significant distress and has affected his personal and professional life. He was so deeply affected by the incident that he was up all night, unable to sleep and as a result, he had to cancel all of his scheduled meetings for the day due to the overwhelming distress and exhaustion he was experiencing.” He has asked the airline for fair compensation and threatened a lawsuit.