Lufthansa Pay Out Millions For Refusing To Transport Jews [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Hyatt acquiring Dream Hotel Group. Doesn’t really address their need to scale – it’s only 12 hotels (some managed, some franchised) and a 24 property pipeline. And it costs them $125 million for a $12 million revenue stream (plus additional revenue attached to the pipeline, at a further cost of up to $175 million). The purchase includes Dream Hotels, Unscripted Hotels, and Chatwal (which is quite nice).

    Dream Hotel Group properties are known for their vibrant dining and nightlife experiences including hotspot restaurants, lavish entertainment venues and exclusive night clubs built on strategic collaborations with innovative and award-winning industry leaders. The acquisition will extend Hyatt’s brand footprint in key markets, including Nashville, Hollywood, South Beach, Durham, several locations in New York City and one in the Catskills. Signed contracts represent additional strategic destinations including Las Vegas, Saint Lucia and Doha.

  • After Lufthansa refused to fly Jews off of a New York – Frankfurt flight to their final destinations (with an employee explaining they were being lumped with problematic passengers because they were Jewish) the airline is paying out $20,000 per passenger (net of legal fees, each receives $17,400).

  • JetBlue has hired a pilot who spent 9 years in prison for breaking into the home of a judge and attacking his daughter. He is reportedly on probation.

  • What happened when a 94-year-old former flight attendant saw a photo of herself at the airport

  • Nancy Pelosi uses an American Airlines credit card and has since 2014 (when it was a US Airways card). A surprising choice if you think of her as based in San Francisco, but they’re the number one carrier at Washington’s close-in National Airport. She’s worth nine figures but still likes her miles. (HT: H.G.)

  • Chase froze accounts of customer who made deposit without endorsing the check

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is a fair topic for Gary to bring up . . . and is not click-baiting . . . that will undoubtedly precipitate a political fight among readers. Or, might we all agree that to deny boarding to any passenger who happens to be Jewish (because, according to the gate agent, the Jews caused this problem) is plain wrong?

  2. Lufthansa is a foreign company.

    In America we’ve got strong protections for certain characteristics, one of them being ethnicity and another being religion. In America, discriminating based on either characteristic is wrong, period.

    In other countries, the rules and the culture may differ. Famously, America is “politically correct” while other countries are much less so, by that yardstick.

    Do I think it’s wrong to ban Jews from a flight for their Judaism? Absolutely, yes. But I’m a United States citizen. I was taught to think this way with the threat of social ostracism if I diverged.

  3. @John Dogas – Kanye (Ye, or whatever) sends his regards LOL. I know it’s been said before, but wow is America is really going down the toilet. Fast. Sad really.

  4. @John Dogas you’re comparing apples to oranges. The correct comparison would be if all toddlers were kicked off the plane because yours isn’t wearing a mask.

  5. @ Lee

    “might we all agree that to deny boarding to any passenger who happens to be Jewish (because, according to the gate agent, the Jews caused this problem) is plain wrong?”

    If someone happens to be Jewish and refuses to follow reasonable requests from the crew then absolutely they should be denied boarding. Clearly there were problems on board. The photos of the flight show congregations in the aircraft aisles. The captain made a special announcement requiring folk to comply with crew instructions.

    “Jewish” is also a broad term, no? In this case it appears to be a highly orthodox sect. Is it right or wrong to characterise people who belong to that sect? You tell me. Is it the case that particular group is anti science (apparently they are being forced to teach science in their NY schools), that there have problems with compliance with COVID restrictions in their NY communities, that there are alleged problems with child abuse? Are those matters at all relevant? Should their requirement to be seated away from women on aircraft be tolerated? You tell me. Should their desire to pray in aircraft aisles be tolerated? You tell me.

    Now somebody here will accuse me of being anti-semitic (because that’s the immediate response to such questions), maybe even a Nazi (which is exactly what some of the passengers did).

    You tell me?! I don’t know. I can’t decide. I must say I have little inherent sympathy for people who mutilate their children’s genitals – it all seems very uncivilised and savage in my personal world view.

    I would point out that USD 21,000 seems to be a very small amount and not reflective of the outrage this incident has caused.

  6. Why can’t you just write the airline compensated a group of people? The Jews… Seriously, in this day and age. Who cares if they are black, white, pink, purple, Moslem, Jewish, Christian or any other religion

    They are people!

  7. Platy, to clarify, the issue started as a result of a group of orthodox Jews not wearing masks. If the denial of boarding was restricted to those individuals not wearing masks (who happened to be Jewish), there would not have been a problem. HOWEVER, other individuals on the flight who were wearing masks and who were NOT affiliated with the orthodox Jews were also denied boarding by the gate agent SOLELY BECAUSE THEY WERE JEWISH. Were you aware of this part of the story?

    You might have missed the videos. A guy is talking to the gate agent. I paraphrase the conversation but it is all on video. The guy: I was wearing a mask and am not part of the orthodox Jewish group. The gate agent says: but, you’re Jewish. The guy: what’s that have to do with it? so even though I was wearing a mask and I’m not associated with the group not wearing masks, you’re going to deny me boarding solely because I’m Jewish. Agent: yes, because Jews caused the problem.

    This is NOT an incident of someone playing the race/religion card. This is all on video. This guy was just another guy on the flight and was wearing a mask . . . and he got hosed solely because he’s Jewish. That’s f***ed up.

    Fauci, I acknowledge your acknowledgement of differences in cultural norms. In Germany, awareness of differences and tolerance is a cultural norm as well.

  8. Platy, as you refer to circumcision, a super-majority of American males are circumcised – 62% are and 38% are not. 79% of heterosexual American women prefer a circumcised penis. 7% prefer an uncircumcised penis. The remainder are unsure. Based on your statement about the Jews, you must also have little sympathy for American culture. But, your position is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of that American culture.

    Gary, can you refer Platy to a rabbi with a steady hand?

  9. Platy, by the way, Jesus was circumcised. There’s a feast day to commemorate it. See you in church.

  10. @ Lee

    There’s no doubt the airline messed up on this one.

    But, seriously, do you really think the “gate agent” made the decision to call the cops and deny boarding to the group?

    Surely the aircraft captain would have reported the on-board troubles before arrival and somebody with some authority in the airline took the decision to act ready for the arrival of the passengers (not the gate agent after the fact). Those problems were more than not wearing masks, no (based upon the captain’s need to make an announcement)? It is most treasonable to infer that the problems on board were more extensive than has been reported I some circles and airline staff had the challenge of trying to identify the perpetrators.

    One or more individuals DID indeed play the race / religion card by calling the police “nazis”. (It happened (accusing somebody of being nazi when you don’t like something) to my father in London when his neighbour built over the property boundary and refused to take ownership of his mistake – WTF?!).

    FYI circumcision rates in the USA have been consistently falling – try quoting the current rate for those poor innocent babes and the rate of decline and you get a very different picture. Yes, you are bunch for savages for such (and other stuff), but luckily the trend is positive and the country edging ever closer to civilisation.

    In civilised and more advanced (less religiously obsessed and scientifically focused and socially progressive) countries (most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) the rates are in the very small minority.

    FWIW I was in the USA as recently as last week visit family who live there.

    You have conveniently ignored the reality that certain religious mores are not compatible with air travel in your response.

    No, Lee, you won’t be seeing me in church despite making a sightseeing visit to the Vatican a couple of weeks ago (which is now, sadly, just one big commercial operation) – at least the Cardinals weren’t using stretch limos and red carpets, as I have observed on a previous visit. As we know, such institutions are proven havens for pedo’s.

    And no, Lee, I don’t suffer from deluded fairytales about deities, like many Americans, whether they include Jesus or not, with our without foreskins or genuflecting to various bodily holy relics. You / they can believe what you / they want, just so long as it doesn’t infringe upon / harm others.

    Apparently, the Catholic Church ceased Circumcision Day in 1960.

    A strange god indeed, that insists on mutilating babies’ genitals 8 days after their birth….;)

    (On a positive note, our mainstream Jewish community was very supportive of the campaign for same-sex marriage laws – one can but wonder if the same would apply to the uber-traditional orthodox sects).

    FWIW my understanding is that Germany’s constitution / legislation has protections against religious and other discrimination. The government has committed significant sums (over USD 1 billion) to address anti-semitism in the community. IME Frankfurt is a very cosmopolitan / multicultural city.

  11. @ Lee

    PS. Incidentally, if you want to banter with statistics about female preferences you might differentiate between flaccid and erect and the circumstances (for example, a Canadian study found no difference in the latter state and a preference for uncircumcised when it came to vaginal and anal intercourse) – for a meaningful “sample” you’d also need to survey women who have experienced both circumcised and uncircumcised. Good luck with that one, mate!!!

  12. @ Lee and @ Platy I know it’s a small sample size (no pun intended), but when I was in grad school I was the only male in a lab with half a dozen females. One afternoon, while I typed away on the computer, they had a long and detailed conversation regarding preference for circumcised vs non-circumcised, including the various situations noted by Platy. The unanimous opinion of this small sample focus group was a preference for circumcised.

    Of course, I did not say a word during this entire conversation.

  13. Thing 1, thank you.

    Platy, you need to include Muslims in the group. Now, just curious, how do you feel about black people?

  14. @Lee

    “you need to include Muslims in the group”

    In what group, exactly, Lee? And just what grouping or sect are you referring to?

    Are you still smarting over the reality that circumcision is a savage practice derived of religious tradition (of varying religions) and a declining practice as religious attachment declines in more progressive societies?!

    Incidentally, if the group denied boarding had been “Muslim” rather than “Jewish”, do you think that there would be the same outrage on this and certain other travel blogs?

    What do you think people’s reaction would be, if the group had been identifiable as supporters of a sports team on their way to watch a game and some of them had gotten themselves drunk and rowdy resulting in the whole group being affected by the airline’s response?

    Do you believe that the staff at Lufthansa are incipiently anti-semitic (many readers seem to based upon polls which show a goodly proportion claim they would refuse to use the airline for future flights) or the situation was simply poorly handled on the day?

    “Now, just curious, how do you feel about black people?”

    You can look through past articles on this very website and derive a definitely conclusive answer from my posts, which address the incipient racist perceptions of Amy Fisher, Jackson (Whatever he’s called), and others.

    In the meantime, you have conveniently ignored the points raised, relevant to the article above, about certain religious folk travelling on aircraft – in some cases their particular religious mores are at odds with the task at hand – some don’t want to sit next to women, others want to block aisles in prayer, others are anti-science covidiots who refuse to wear masks – all of those issues derive from their religious proclivities. This raises questions about the extent of religious freedoms within the context of air travel and a government requirement to comply with health and safety directives and reasonable crew instructions, and the reasonable goal of not disaffecting other passengers.

    Just remember, none of this would have happened if a certain number of such twats had behaved appropriately in the first place.

    You have also conveniently ignored the reality that the orthodox group cited in the article above are not representative of the Jewish community at large and the wanton conflation of such by @ Gary, yourself, and others.

    You appear to ignore the possibility that the problems on board may have been understated rather than fairly characterised in various travel blog articles intent on stirring up outrage over the incident.

    You have failed to accept that one or more affected passengers did play the “race card”.

    You haven’t indicated whether you think the pay out figure was reasonable given your perceptions of the circumstances (it seems low to me relative to the reportage and outrage generated).

    Oh, and would you date a women who’s ultimate and defining mate selection criterion was whether you were circumcised or not?

    Or, on the other hand, would you date woman who strongly took the position that she didn’t want a son of hers to be circumcised?

  15. @ Thing 1

    “Of course, I did not say a word during this entire conversation.”

    Oh, buddy, such a shame you didn’t “participate” in the debate…;)

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