Jerusalem – Just days after four Charedi men caused a delay on an El Al flight after refusing to sit next to women, the Israeli airline has announced that it will remove any passengers who refuse to sit in their ticketed seats.
Ynet News reported that the abrupt change of policy came about after Barak Eilam, CEO of global software solutions provider NICE Systems, announced on Linked In today that his company would no longer be availing itself of El Al’s services.
“At NICE we don’t do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion,” wrote Eilam. “NICE will not fly @EL AL Israel Airlines until they change their practice and actions discriminating against women.”
As previously reported on VIN News, a Tel Aviv bound flight from New York experienced a delay of over an hour last Thursday night as the flight crew attempted to relocate female passengers in order to accommodate the preferences of a handful of Charedi travelers.
Responding to Eilam’s declaration, El Al CEO Gonen Ussishkin took swift action.
“From here on, travelers who refuse to sit next to another traveler will be removed expeditiously from the aircraft,” said Ussishkin.
El Al has long faced issues because of Charedi passengers refusing to sit next to women.
In June 2017 the airline was found guilty of discrimination after it asked an 83 year old female Holocaust survivor seated in business class if she would mind changing seats in order to accommodate the religious beliefs of a Chasidic looking man.
In another incident reported in 2012, a Florida woman sued El Al for reseating her without prior warning in order to accommodate the preferences of a Charedi passenger.
According to a 2012 Haaretz article, groups of Charedi men frequently take to the aisles just prior to takeoff, asking female passengers to switch seats with them so that they can create clusters of male-only seating, making it easier to put together minyanim for davening and to create a movie-free zone.
On some flights, Charedi passengers have also been observed putting up makeshift partitions in order to shield their eyes from in flight entertainment.