Following a 22 hour delay at the JFK airport, during which passengers were sent home, dozens of families who were planning to spend Pesach in Israel were finally given a flight to get them to their destination.
The drama began Tuesday when an Aeroflot flight from JFK to Israel via Moscow was delayed and then the plane was pulled from service. The airline notified the passengers who were about to board the plane that the flight was going to be delayed due to technical issues with the plane. The delay was continuously extended, with passengers waiting in the airport, until the airline announced that the plane could not fly.
Passengers were then offered an alternative flight to Israel via El Al – but at a cost of $2,000 per seat. Aeroflot offered to reimburse the price of their ticket, which in most cases was far lower than the cost of last-minute El Al tickets.
One passenger told BeChadrei Charedim about the interminable wait: “We were suddenly notified that the flight would be delayed. Every hour they kept telling us that it would be an additional hour. They said that they could put us on a flight next Monday instead. From their standpoint we were just going to have to spend Pesach here in New York. Our other option was that they would buy us tickets on an El Al flight, but only cover the cost of what we had paid for our tickets and we would have to pay the rest of the $2,000 dollars that those tickets now cost. That is almost double the price of what most of us paid.”
The passenger continued: “There are a lot of families here with many young children and even babies. This is insufferable. The called police who simply pushed us outside because we didn’t want to leave. We are now waiting for our bags to be returned to us and then we are going home.”
At the end of the long saga of waiting, a solution was found by the airline and a new plane was brought to fill in for the one with technical issues. The flight departed on its scheduled route, 22 hours later than it had been originally scheduled for.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)