Frontier Airlines is facing accusations of antisemitism after videos circulated online of the airline kicking a Chasidic family off a plane because of violations over its mask requirements.
The family claims that its members were properly masked on the Sunday night flight from Miami to New York City, except for an 18-month-old baby, according to videos posted by OJPAC, an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group. Others who said they were on the flight recalled watching some people high-five after the family left the plane.
The airline says the baby was not the issue that prompted the eviction, and that adults in the group that was removed from the plane were not wearing masks.
The Anti-Defamation League’s New York-New Jersey office called for a “full & transparent investigation” of the incident.
Disturbing incident the last hour on a @FlyFrontier flight as staff told a Hasidic couple to get off because their 18 month old had no mask. Applause is heard as the couple started leaving. Travels say on camera that the applause came from staff who also cheered that “we did it.” pic.twitter.com/rA2JQmI1tU
— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021
Although what caused the eviction is unclear, videos posted by OJPAC show several Chasidic Jews standing in the aisle, all wearing masks. Multiple people say in the videos that the only unmasked passenger is the baby. In one video, a Chasidic woman says that kids briefly took off their masks to have a snack.
In another video posted by OJPAC, people said the airline staff high-fived after deplaning the family.
“I saw them high-fiving each other, and high-fiving and saying ‘A job well done to those Jews,’” one man said.
Frontier wrote on Twitter that the family did not comply with instructions from flight attendants.
“Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA,” the airline tweeted. “Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.”
A passenger told Hamodia, a Charedi publication, that 15 police officers responded to the incident. According to Hamodia, the flight was canceled eventually due to the incident.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.