Report: German Airline Refuses To Fly Jews After Various Passengers Refused To Wear Masks

A large group of Jewish passengers were kept from traveling on a Lufthansa connecting flight to Budapest on Wednesday after some Jewish passengers – and some non-Jews – had mask compliance issues on board Lufthansa’s flight 401 from New York JFK to Frankfurt.

Dan Eleff estimates that there were 135 – 170 Jews on the Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 making a pilgrimage to the gravesite of Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner. He had numerous conversations and has significant video of the incidents, which conflicts with Lufthansa’s statements.

Reportedly a group of Jews in business class weren’t masked. Though the U.S. no longer has a mask requirement, and masks aren’t required in the Frankfurt airport, Lufthansa still requires masks on board. Enforcement was said to be inconsistent, but Jews in particular were singled out for their mask compliance. And passengers who appeared Jewish, or who had Jewish-sounding names, were banned from their connecting flight.

There’s some disagreement over how quickly the ban was put into effect, or whether it was actually 24 hours. And as a result numerous passengers failed to make onward connections, and in some cases had their return trips cancelled necessitating buying new tickets.

Here’s a Lufthansa representative explaining that Jews caused the problems, so the airline approached this as collective guilt.

Passenger: The non-Jewish people on the flight went. Why are only the Jewish people paying for other people’s crimes?

Lufthansa: Because it’s Jews coming from JFK.

…Passenger: I’m like shocked beyond, never in my adult life. I’ve never heard this.

Lufthansa: If you want to do it like this, Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.

Lufthansa offered in a statement that passengers who failed to comply with mask requirements were re-accommodated on the next flight, though doesn’t deal with whether compliant passengers were banned as well, whether Jewish passengers were singled out for this treatment, or that numerous passengers weren’t allowed to travel the same day.

We confirm that a larger group of passengers could not be carried yesterday on Lufthansa flight LH1334 from Frankfurt to Budapest, because the travelers refused to wear the legally mandated mask (medical mask) on board.

By German law, Lufthansa, similar to any and all carriers operating in Germany, is obliged to follow the legal requirements of this mandate. In the new German Infection Protection Act, the obligation to wear a mask remains in place in public transport and thus also on board flights, as well as across all aspects of air transport. Medical or FFP2 masks must therefore continue to be worn on board Lufthansa flights, at all times.

For legal reasons we cannot disclose the number of guests involved in the incident, however Lufthansa has rebooked the guests on the next available flight to their final destination. A prerequisite for transportation is that the travelers complied with the mask mandate, which is a legal requirement.

As safety and security of our passengers and staff is our top priority, Lufthansa will continue to abide by all legal requirements, including the mask mandate imposed by the German government and those of the countries served. We do so without prejudice and with the wellbeing of all our guests.

Treating Jews, collectively, for the behavior of some passengers – and singling out Jews for blame – raises especially troubling concerns in Germany and by a German airline.

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 should be easy to confirm. If either (1) mask-wearing Jews were kicked off, and/or (2) non-masking non-Jews were allowed to stay, they have a serious problem that should cost some people their job. Again, this should be easy to confirm — but if true, whoever said “pull all the Jews off the flight” should be fired. If the flight was to or from the US, the State Department and FAA should be digging into this as well.

  2. This is so Anti Jewish/Anti-Semitic that I would love to see how Lufthansa PR department wiggles their way out of this one. Yes, they should be wearing a mask and yes whoever is not wearing the mask should be dealt with. But saying they are Jews coming from JFK is so classical anti-Semitic.
    The worse part is that I am not even shocked. Sad.

  3. There seems to have been overwhelming mask compliance among all the Jews on the flight. Dan took apart the story very nicely. Instead of banning the few passengers who didn’t mask they just banned everyone who looked Jewish, even if they were not part of the group and booked tickets themselves. It is so ridiculous, and Lufthansa’s statements are so pathetic and lame. Nevermind, that they are lying through their teeth despite the clear evidence against them. Shameful.

  4. Lufthansa PR department follow-up:

    Hey, we couldda said that they should take the trains…

  5. Wow!! I can’t believe that Lufthansa could be so anti-Semitic again after all the fallout from the Holocaust. As already said, yes all passengers need to abide by the rules of each country’s requirements always and those that refused should be denied flight. But to seek out those “looking like Jews” and/or those “ with Jewish sounding names” is unconscionable!! I’ll certainly have to think about flying Lufthansa ever again.

  6. I am all for refusing to fly passengers who won’t follow the law. But to discriminate against all Jews or those with Jewish sounding names – if that’s what happened – should cost people their jobs and Lufthansa a hefty compensation package.

  7. “And passengers who appeared Jewish, or who had Jewish-sounding names, were banned from their connecting flight.” Where have I heard this Nazi speak before…GERMANY ! Shame.

  8. Collective punishment – never a good idea for any group, by anyone or any group. Doubly so for any German organization dealing with Jews. (And I say this knowing there are group of Jews in NYC who are a royal pain in the tuchus to deal with – even other Jews think so.) But the idea has become so acceptable among certain groups, that it’s not surprising that an organization would see it as an acceptable way to deal with the situation.

    Any airline still requiring masks probably should make it very obvious on their tickets, booking sites, and at the airport at check-in and before boarding that they still require them. That way, anyone who objects can just not board or buy a ticket. But if they require them, sorry, you have to comply. Some people might even prefer flying such airlines.

  9. This is downright asinine. Nobody told the “Jews” to get off the plane. What happened is a few were asked to leave and everyone else rallied around those few. To think otherwise is a question of stupidity. They just want people to think they as a people are hard done by.

  10. You should be ashamed of yourself for turning this into something its not. Shame on you. I think you’re time is almost up as the pre-eminent frequent flyer blog if this is what you have to stoop too. The airline was doing its due diligence and you turned it in something it never was. Shame.

  11. OK, these were not generic Jews (like me), they were Chasidic Jews, who all wear a very distinctive dress. They are essentially a cult. Like a cult, they make it difficult to leave – see “Unorthodox” on Netflix for a fictionalized account of a Chasidic women who leaves (and finds freedom in Berlin) or “One of Us” on Netflix for a non-fiction account.

    Let’s assume instead of this group, it was a group of fundamentalist Christians from a church all wearing a special uniform prescribed by this church. Let’s also assume that these church members were blocking the aisles to pray, and a certain number of them were not wearing masks. Would Lufthansa have taken the same action against this group? We really don’t know.

    It’s also ironic that Dan of Dan’s Deals decries this as “collective punishment”, given that Israel is one of the leading state practitioners of collective punishment:

  12. Reply to robbo
    As long as its Jews being singled out its fine!!!!
    Can you imagine if they wouldn’t allow 100 black people on the flight because of 4 black people not wearing masks or Asians or any other type of discrimination!!!!
    Kudos to Gary for reporting something that should not be tolerated, sad on you for excusing (and Okaying) blatant anti-semtisim!

  13. @Robbo do you need to have your hearing checked? I clearly heard the discussion of the Lufthansa employee. Lufthansa was one of my favorite airlines. Was is the operative word here.

  14. @Robert Aronoff – “generic Jews” please. Your whataboutism doesn’t come close to excusing scapegoating Jews who weren’t in violation of any rules, and imposing punishment on them because they were identifiable as Jews.

  15. @robbo – please share what you think it ‘actually was’ and how an airline is ‘doing its due diligence’ by singling out those it could identify as Jewish in order to punish Jews on the flight for the behavior of a subset of passengers (and not punish those on the flight who broke rules that weren’t Jewish)?

  16. Rabbi Steiner must be rolling in his grave right now. We need Putin to de-nazify Lufthansa.

  17. Missed my DL flight to FRA last Monday so had to take LH biz class TPA to FRA. They make you wear surgical masks and bitch at you the second you try and slip it off. Horrible trip having to go back to mask wearing and LH be so stringent about it. Thankfully only paid 56k AC miles and a few hundred bucks for this crap. LH biz class sucks BTW.

  18. Hey Robert Aronoff — “One of the Good Jews” who virtue signal their goodness by denouncing Israel’s alleged “collective punishment” of the stateless Palestinians.

    But of course, by all means distance yourself from these “cultic” Jews and your knowledge of them coming from a Netflix entertainment show.

    Of course, you would approvingly encourage a ban on those bad evangelical Christians you posit because of their alleged political beliefs.

    I bet, however, you would be decrying such like treatment of Arabs or Muslims — who often do wear such distinctive garb — do you call them members of a cult?

    Robbo — go crawl back under that rock you live under — for if I were to ever meet you, I’d knock you out.

    The are correct, I guess, in one observation — they had an issue with some Jews who flew from JFK.

    Their response to this was downright disgusting.

    I think that there may be some violation of legal statutes and the contract of carriage based upon the video and other evidence.

    Kudos to you Gary……………..

  19. Blatant anti-semitism . Please forward to ADL and post as much as possible on social media . LH has no shame !

  20. Even if it was just a few Jewish folks that were kicked off – and good for their friends for rallying around them -, it’s still a total PR s*it show for LH. Singling out a single group & canceling tickets?? Dumbfounding.
    Also, to that uneducated bafoon calling them a cult. You’re in a cult too. Some are just bigger than others & even have subsets & denominations. This has NOTHING to do with religion & everything to do with discrimination.

  21. As can clearly be seen in some of Dan’s pictures, there were also people not identifiably Jewish who weren’t being mask compliant.

    Not that it would be excusable to scapegoat all chasidic Jews for the actions of a few chasidic Jews…. but it clearly wasn’t even that. The 2 people in Dan’s first picture within the article presumably didn’t face consequences, while Chasidic Jews who were fully compliant were punished solely because of how they looked.

  22. Sorry, Maxie, but the ADL likely will do nothing as they are too busy navel gazing and worrying about allyship with BLM to worry about Jews, let alone mostly Chassidic ones.

    Better to alert the Wisenthal Center in LA about this…….

  23. It seems impossible that there isn’t more to the story. It makes no sense that Jews who wore their mask and minded their own business were removed from the plane. Were they were making trouble over LH ejecting the Jewish anti-maskers?

  24. Gary… you SICK man! READ your title. For GODS sake update that. You are generalizing it. Lufthansa will fly jewish people…they won’t fly the group that would not wear masks, but no because they are jewish!! I beg you to change the awful, offensive title.

  25. Here’s an idea…the airline should issue masks to those who don’t have one. Either wear the mask or deplane the aircraft and then everyone can get on their way.

  26. @Gary, it is obvious that Dan is not an investigative journalist and there are plenty of gaps in his “story”. One could easily make the argument he’s biased. In this case I would suggest you wait until LH provides more detail about the incident to get a more compete picture of the incident. As an example, You have no idea if it was a “ban”, did you get verifying information from LH? Did you interview the personnel? This post is lazy and irresponsible.

  27. Dan from Dansdeals indeed did a good job breaking it down. Most convincing is the videos themselves – take a look for yourself if you have time (both read the blog post & watch the videos – the last video especially is very telling, and it does seem like an anti-semtic attitude)

  28. I think boarding area should remove this article or force an update to the title. Why does the media need to help spread anti semitism which in this case does not even exist ! LH is not targeting jews but this article makes it sound like they do.

  29. “@Gary, it is obvious that Dan is not an investigative journalist and there are plenty of gaps in his “story”. One could easily make the argument he’s biased.”

    Actually, Dan’s report was incredibly thorough and he clearly made a concerted effort to put all the pieces together, speak with many firsthand accounts, as much photographic and video evidence as possible, confirmed that many of the people banned were not part of any “group” that got banned, reached out to Lufthansa for their side which he posted….. and then after several days of investigating, published everything he has found out. He knew these were serious allegations, and clearly did homework to investigate it before putting them out there.

    Compare that to what goes for investigative journalism today, where we often have entire news cycles dominated by articles that are nothing more than “a source with ties to agency ABC tells me XYZ” and no actual legwork put in to corroborate it

  30. It seems that Lufthansa acted so reprehensively and committed acts that are so shocking that commenters here don’t want to believe it, even though we have all the evidence in front of our eyes. This is feeling more deja Vu by the second.

  31. The level of denialism here (albeit of a minority) is surprising. How much more evidence do you need?

    Also, to the half-wit who thinks he knows enough to generalize about a religious sect with millions of adherents because he saw a Netflix documentary- get over yourself.

    I also wonder at those surprised a German company would discriminate against Jews.

  32. Fu%3#ng Nazis. It is obvious that Germans will stay forever Germans. They just don’t like Jews. I, for one, will never fly Lufty again..

  33. These accusations are wrong because we have no proof of who is a Jew and who is not. No DNA tests were done. No genealogy were documented. Just because someone has a certain last name doesn’t mean he or she is a Jew.

    Lufthansa is innocent.

  34. Germany is going back to it’s old ways even going as far as attacking Russia and arming Nazis in the ukraine.

    Hope Russia makes them pay again.

  35. Can’t blame LH for upholding the rules. God help this poor LH woman who had to put up with such verbal abuse from this guy who’s ranting about Jews and their rights.
    Whatever! Abide by the rules and let the reset of us live in peace and quiet.

  36. Isn’t it alarming how everyone bends over backwards for a group that is 3% of the population, controls every industry from social media to publishing to medicine to venture capital, owns a disproportionate amount of wealth, and pushes for criminalization of everyone who criticizes it?

    I don’t support the enforcement of the mask mandate but why does one group get special protections and the benefit of doubt when my own doesn’t?

  37. @Amy Fischer explain to me how getting banned from flying is “special protections and the benefit of doubt” exactly?

    Aside from your blatant anti semisism


  39. @Amy Fischer Classy. Which special protection do you feel the *paying passengers unaffiliated with any group who were not accused of being noncompliant* were invoking upon not being allowed to board and banned for 24 hours from an airline simply for *dressing like other passengers who were ostensibly noncompliant*?

    Your clear cut anti-semitism needs to be called out every time. Despicable.

    @HT Who exactly is the “rest of us”? Remember, the LH agent was very clear that the fellow trying to board the *flight that he already paid for* was not being punished for his own noncompliance but for other unaffiliated [unidentified] Jews *from another flight* who were allegedly noncompliant. Is he included in “the rest of us”? Is it only non-Jews? Only anti-Semitic human bags of feces? You tell us.

  40. Unbelievably disgusting, is there any need to Lufthansa to call out a passengers race or religion, I would think not. I hope they are held accountable. I would prefer to fly other carriers that do not feel the need to categorize people or specifically attack Jewish passengers. Sickening.

  41. Ummm…

    Quick, simple question:

    Why is ANYONE flying Lufthansa? Or driving German cars? Or using German appliances? And on…

    How quickly we forget.

  42. @Amy Fisher – Wow! I’m assuming you’re showing remarkable courage by attacking the Baldwin family…

    Normally I’m not in favor of doxxing, but if ever there was a time for Gary to make an exception…

  43. It’s difficult to believe that a thinking human would buy into this story. ‘German Airline Bans all Jews from a Flight’? Ridiculous. What’s the rest of it? What really happened? Of course nobody will know that for a while and by the time the truth comes out, nobody will care.

  44. Hmmm. Google/YouTube has now blocked the video as “hate speech”. One has to wonder why the Progs in Silicon Valley feel the need to block evidence of anti-Semitism as “hate speech”?

  45. @Chamor hador – Aren’t you just as guilty of “collective guilt” as the supposed Lufthansa incident? There are few, if any, people alive today in Germany who had anything to do with the policies of 1933-45. The Germans, at least the western half, have been pretty good at upholding liberal norms for the last 77 years. Far better than that Chinese made iPhone probably sitting nearby.

  46. @Chamor hador
    You said it… no one’s using this shit.
    The high tech is from Israel and the low tech is from Germanistan.
    Applications? Go do some search again please, you are probably not with us lmfao

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