US couple cries foul over airline crew’s alleged ‘retarded Jews’ remark
A couple from Borough Park, New York City, cried foul after an unpleasant experience during their flight to Florida, which saw flight attendants of Spirit Airlines allegedly harass and insult them.
Chana and Yisroel Beck, along with their three young daughters, arrived at Newark Airport last Jan. 7 for their flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A gate agent initially allowed the couple to bring their baby carriage onto the plane, as per The New York Post on Jan. 10, but were told otherwise by two flight attendants at the aircraft’s entrance.
“One of them said, ‘There is no way this is coming on,’” Chana was quoted as saying. “’I don’t care who approved it at the gate. I’m the boss here and I’m going to decide if it comes on or not.’”
The couple complied and folded the baby carriage which they were allowed to bring to their seats. A crew member, however, told them with no explanation that the seat would be going off the plane.
One passenger also overheard a male flight attendant call the family “those retarded Jews” while conversing with a female flight attendant.
“It was clearly anti-Semitism, a personal thing,” the flier, identified only as Binyamin from Rockland County, said in the report.
At one point during the flight, Yisroel stood up from his seat and transferred to Chana’’s three-seat row to take their 2-year-old on his lap. He, however, was ordered by an attendant to get back to his seat. Yisroel complied, but when he asked the attendant for his last name, he was only told to “shut up” and that law enforcement would be meeting them once the plane lands.
The Becks were escorted off the plane once it landed in Florida by two police officers and two airline supervisors. As per the report, their return tickets for Jan. 15 would also not be honored and that the family was no longer allowed on any of the airline’s flights.
Airline spokesman Derek Dombrowski has since given a statement following the incident, saying the family still has not contacted them. Records, however, “indicate that this guest ignored flight and ground crew instructions multiple times, beginning with the boarding process and continuing through landing.”
Dombrowski also said that they would investigate the incident.
“Spirit Airlines does not tolerate any form of discrimination,” he added. “We are extremely proud of the diversity of our team and strive to provide exceptional service to all of our guests.” Cody Cepeda /ra
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.