MIAMI (JTA/VINnews) — Frontier Airlines is facing accusations of anti-Semitism after videos circulated online of the airline kicking a Hasidic 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.
Although what caused the eviction is unclear, videos posted by OJPAC show several Hasidic 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 Hasidic 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.”
Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA. Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.
— Frontier Airlines (@FlyFrontier) March 1, 2021
But others were quick to point out that the statement by Frontier Airlines are directly contradicted by videos and eyewitness accounts.
There are videos & eyewitness accounts that directly refute your position. Your staff took a manageable situation & embarrassed these people & then high five'd it. Your discrimination has been exposed & its ugly. An apology & crew suspension is a good start. Make this right. https://t.co/NLKvnAC69V
— Chaskel Bennett (@ChaskelBennett) March 1, 2021
NYS Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein also weighed in on Monday, calling for an investogation into the matter.
I just spoke with a passenger who was on the @FlyFrontier flight and heard firsthand about the outrageous and blatant anti-Semitic treatment of Orthodox Jews on this flight. The hateful behavior by the flight crew is inexcusable and must immediately be investigated. https://t.co/SBSqet3KZa
— Simcha Eichenstein (@SEichenstein) March 2, 2021