Jan 10, 2019
Frum Family Verbally Attacked
Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

A flight attendant for Spirit Airlines allegedly called an Orthodox Jewish man flying to Florida with his family "that retarded Jew."

By Ben Cohen, algemeiner.com

An Orthodox Jew who traveled with his wife and small children on Tuesday on board a Spirit Airlines flight from Newark to Fort Lauderdale was allegedly described as "that retarded Jew" by a member of the cabin crew, following an argument over whether a seat for his one-month-old baby was permitted on board the aircraft.

A fellow passenger on the early-morning flight told The Algemeiner on Thursday that he had overheard the flight attendant complaining about the family to a colleague, angrily referring to the father as "that retarded Jew" during the course of his rant.

The alleged antisemitic barb came at the height of a nightmare journey for the family that culminated in them being forcibly escorted off the plane by two armed police officers and two Spirit Airlines representatives upon landing in Florida.

Their experience was made public on Thursday morning by former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represented the Brooklyn district where the family lives for 35 years before retiring last month.

In an account of their journey provided to Hikind, the couple — who were traveling with their three-year-old and two-year-old daughters, in addition to the baby — said that they had been given permission by a gate agent at Newark Airport to take the baby seat on board after demonstrating that it also functioned as a car seat.

But after buckling the baby into her car seat and taking their own seats on the plane, a female flight attendant informed the couple that the seat was not permitted on board after all.

During the argument that followed, a male flight attendant, described by the eyewitness to the incident as white and in his late 20s, reportedly ordered the father to "shut up," while insisting that the baby had to be unbuckled from her seat — an instruction with which the family complied.

"It was painful to see," the eyewitness said in a telephone interview. "It was a young couple with three little kids. They were just out to get them. It was disgusting."

The eyewitness said the male flight attendant had become particularly enraged, encouraging the other cabin staff to round on the family. "I saw how it became personal, how the steward was trying to make a whole fight out of it," the eyewitness said. "He was trying to get the other staff on his side to say, 'No, we're not gonna give in,' even though they'd been told the baby seat was allowed on the plane."

During the flight, it was the same male attendant who referred to the father as "that retarded Jew" while speaking about the family with a colleague, said the eyewitness, who had been sitting at the back of the plane near the cabin galley.

"It was like they were out to get them. It was antisemitism," the eyewitness added. "The guy was full of hatred. You could see it."

Unfortunately for the family, that was not the last altercation of the flight. When the father attempted to take the two-year-old on his lap alongside the children's mother, he was ordered back to his seat by the same male steward, who cited airline safety regulations that forbid five people from sitting in a three-seat row. According to the account provided to Hikind, the father "readily complied and returned to his seat."

But when the plane landed, the other passengers were prevented from disembarking for half an hour so that the family could be forcibly escorted off the plane by the police officers and ground staff. When the couple asked what crime they had committed and whether they were under arrest, they were told that they "had not been wearing seat belts." The staff then informed the couple that they were henceforth banned from flying on Spirit Airlines, telling the stunned pair, in a parting shot, to "find another flight home."

Spirit Airlines said in a written statement on Thursday afternoon:

"The safety of our Guests and crew is our top priority. Our records indicate that this Guest ignored flight and ground crew instructions multiple times, beginning with the boarding process and continuing through landing."

"While the Guests have not contacted us with any allegations of discrimination, we will now launch an investigation and take these matters very seriously. Spirit Airlines does not tolerate any form of discrimination. We are extremely proud of the diversity of our team and strive to provide exceptional service to all of our Guests."

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Opinions and Comments
BS”D BOYCOTT this airline
(1/10/2019 8:40:06 PM)
Stop flying Spirit
Jews should stop flying Spirit regardless of their cheap prices n they will get the message fast. Jewish blood and the Jewish ppl are Holy and certainly NOT CHEAP.
(1/10/2019 8:41:53 PM)
The couple should contact a lawyer and sue spirit airlines
(1/10/2019 8:48:35 PM)
Worst airline ever
I gladly pay the xtra 30-50 dollars and avoid this airline which ive been told by my brother in law is not safe.... he is a former safety inspector from their ft lauderdale base
(1/10/2019 8:50:05 PM)
Boycott this cheap airline
I agree with #1 boycott this airline.
About 25 years ago I was waiting for my daughters Spirit Airlines flight to arrive. It was delayed for a very long time.When the plane finally did arrive and the passengers and flight member got off the plane I overheard one pilot say to the other: "They really out to get rid of these old planes"!!
(1/10/2019 9:07:38 PM)
So weird
Interesting,I see babies in car seats on planes all the time, they even have Devices to roll them around at the airport....
since when was it illegal,seems like the staff from spirit are not up to par, maybe that's why it's the cheapest airline, especially if you bring your own oxygen on board :)
(1/10/2019 9:14:21 PM)
B”h for witnesses.
This couple had a fantastic lawsuit. I hope they sue
(1/10/2019 9:32:25 PM)
Evil Spirit - but no neshama
It's obviously the airline of the yetzer hora
(1/10/2019 9:39:14 PM)
OMG ...Doona is a car seat not a stroller - couple must reach to the company
Spirit flight attendants are uneducated and that what made this couple suffer ... technology of car seats are different now , company needs to upgrade their regulations..
Dooms is approved car seat In USA !!!!
(1/10/2019 9:42:37 PM)
Poor family!!
Infant car seats and most toddler car seats are ABSOLUTELY approved for aircraft use! We fly with our kids car seats often, occasionally the flight attendants are not well informed, and I may have to show the FAA approved label
On the car set or pull up the webpage showing so. I have been told in the past that my babies seat is not allowed, but after showing I purchased a ticket for the seat, and showing the FAA approved sticker, they admit they did not know that rule. I feel so bad they had to go through this
(1/10/2019 10:17:36 PM)
absolutely, and I hope and pray that this family gets a huge settlement from airline. MAKE SURE DO NOT FLY THIS AIRLINE ANY MORE AND WRITE THEM SO THEY KNOW THIS.
(1/10/2019 10:19:59 PM)
I will certainly not fly using spirit anymore.
(1/10/2019 10:39:43 PM)
That "RETARDED JEW" can now SUE this airline & RETIRE.
Hatzlocha Raba.
The non-Jews that open their mouths too wide are the Retards!
(1/10/2019 10:57:22 PM)
To 5
Spirit was around 25 years ago??
(1/10/2019 10:57:53 PM)
Half a story
Bottom line, based off this article it's impossible to determine what happened, let alone who is right and who is wrong.
(1/11/2019 12:37:36 AM)
Get a lawyer
Get a lawyer and sue.
(1/11/2019 4:49:17 AM)
Boycott Spirit. And good for the family, they're about to make a bunch of money.
(1/11/2019 6:47:39 AM)
To #15
Who’s side are you on? There is always one self hateing....
(1/11/2019 7:33:41 AM)
To 15:
Thanks for being the voice of reason.
(1/11/2019 9:53:06 AM)
There are 2 problems.
Anti semitism is nothing new. Second people have no idea what children mean. Period. Even one. So when they see a couple with a bunch of kids..... they dont know how to act.

Anti semitism and this no idea what children problem are combined, make me worried every time I fly.
(1/11/2019 11:11:48 AM)
Did they buy a ticket for the car seat?
Yes, car seats are allowed on board, but you have to buy a ticket. You can't bring your baby on board on the basis that it will not need a seat, and then occupy a seat by buckling the car seat in. That's probably what happened here. The gate agent said it was OK, but it was not on the manifest because no ticket had been bought.
(1/11/2019 12:27:32 PM)
oy vay
asav soneh leya'akov.
(1/11/2019 1:23:15 PM)
Very ugly scenario!
I hope you get at least a full refund, next trip free, and very effusive written and official apology!!
(1/11/2019 1:27:14 PM)
(1/12/2019 12:53:40 PM)
let's be realistic
i am not defending the airline here, but these cases happen on ALL airlines, and it has to do with a particular flight attendant that is an antisemite ..........it happened on Delta, and others.
I am sure the airline will take care of the horrible incident, after all, it's not in their interest to be the headlines of such a story.
If we boycott all airlines, soon we won't be able to fly!
(1/13/2019 12:14:31 PM)
To 25
Yes, finally someone talking some sense.
(1/14/2019 1:04:15 AM)
to no. 15
But....whether they were right or wrong, it says the passengers readily complied with all of the staffs orders yet the anti semite was out to get them the whole time and yet they called the police!
(1/14/2019 4:08:23 AM)
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