WARNING: Ukrainian Airlines Profiles Jewish Passengers; Tefillin, Jewelry, Shaitels & Other Valuables Missing


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Ukrainian Airlines seems to have intentionally profiled Orthodox Jewish passengers on a flight this week, in what looks like an inside job to rob them blind.

Multiple passengers spoke to YWN and say that approximately 50 Orthodox Jewish passengers were on Ukrainian Flight number PS778 at 5:30AM Monday morning from Tel Aviv to JFK, with a brief stop in Kiev. As the passengers were about to board the plane in Tel Aviv, Ukrainian Airlines personnel began making everyone place their hand luggage into a box to measure the size. Strangely, their luggage all fit, but were told they can not take it on the plane with them. Instead, they were given a “green sticker” with no tracking number on it.

The Frum passengers began to realize that something was suspicious, as the rest of the flight (non-Jews) were all able to board the plane without their hand luggage being taken away.

One passenger described it as blatant anti-Semitism, as anyone with a Yarmulka, beard and peyos had their luggage taken away.

One man who uses a c-pap machine to sleep on the flight begged to be allowed to take his hand luggage on board. His request was denied without an ounce of compassion.

At first the passengers staged a small protest and refused to board, but they eventually boarded the flight to Kiev – with assurances that their hand luggage would be waiting for them.

While on the flight, passengers became even more suspicious, as they notice that much of the overhead compartments were very empty. They had been told in Tel Aviv that the overhead bins were all full to capacity, and and that’s one of the reasons they could not take their hand luggage on board.

Upon their arrival in Kiev, their worst nightmare turned into a reality, as just about all their hand luggage was never returned to them. When they asked Ukrainian Airline personnel in Kiev where their hand luggage was, they said “we have no idea”. They showed the airline personnel their “green stickers” they were given, and were told that they had never before seen such stickers.

The “green sticker” used to allegedly profile Jewish hand luggage on Ukrainian Airlines

The Jews were then rushed and yelled at to hurry onto the connecting flight in Kiev, and were not given the time of day to listen to them plead for their handbags.

The group then boarded Ukrainian Airline Flight number PS231 from Kiev to JFK, and arrived in NY on Monday afternoon around 1:00PM.

The entire group filed complaints in NY, which took a few hours, and were told that they never before saw this many people with stolen luggage. Police in Tel Aviv and JFK are investigating the incident.

Additionally, multiple passengers had not only their hand luggage, but their regular luggage disappear as well.

Many people had Tefillin, expensive electronic devices, iPads, laptop, jewelry, expensive Shaitels (wigs), duty free items and other valuables inside their hand luggage.

One passenger tell YWN that he was told by the airline on Tuesday that the luggage would all be returned later today, but that has already changed and he was now been told it won’t be in NY before Wednesday.

Professionals in the airline industry say that the chances of the passengers ever receiving their valuables is slim to none, and at best, they will get their luggage back – with nothing of value inside.

YWN warns people flying Ukrainian Airlines to be extra cautious with their luggage.

UPDATE: Dans Deals reached out to Gregory Truman, the UIA (Ukraine International Airlines) General Manager for North America for their side of the story and here is what he said:

“I am waiting for an official statement from the head office…But, here is a summary of what happened…

Yesterday in TLV, the ground handlers did not use the correct UIA bag labels when tagging bags that were loaded from the plane into the storage area with other checked bags under the plane. There was a miscommunication between the airport staff in TLV and KBP, as the ground handlers in KBP, did not get the correct information for names and final destinations that these bags were to be transferred and unfortunately, they were left in KBP.

I have spoken with head office and they understand what happened, and will not allow this to occur again.

So, yes, passengers with oversized or overweight baggage had to gate check these bags. They should have received an official UIA tag to insure proper handling. They did not and the bags were mishandled. That compounded the situation as passenger are required to pay for checked bags even when done at the gate.

Hope this provides an adequate summary. If you have additional questions, please let me know.

I know that many Jewish travelers feel like they were singled out. I can assure that we treated all of our passengers the same yesterday – very poorly 🙁

The bags are being processed. And as soon as is possible. I do not have specifics for each passenger other than it is being worked on. I believe every passenger filled out paperwork describing their luggage and providing a delivery address.

So there you have it. The agent in Tel Aviv clearly told her superiors that the bags in question were all oversized, though that’s likely suspect. It was probably just easier on them to force everything with wheels to be gate checked. Dan notes this seems like typical poor customer service as one would expect from an airline like Spirit when you are trying to save a few shekels. In the end of the day you get what you pay for. [Read more at Dans Deals]

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. After so many negative incidents with this airline in recent years, I have little sympathy for yidden who try to save a few dollars by flying with the state airline of one of the world’s most anti-Semitic countries. What you pay for is what you get. Yes, EL Al is more expensive and the flight attendant may have an attitude towards charedii zealots who refuse to sit next to a woman, but they won’t steal you blind or act in such a blatantly anti-Semitic manner.

  2. My nephew and niece who were flying as newly weds a few years ago were robed the same way. Soon after they boarded in Kiev for their flight to JFK, someone came on board and told her that they had to check her carry on bag and when they gave it back to her all of her jewelry was missing.
    They filed complaints with everybody and nothing ever happened.

  3. us jews will never learn. giving so much business to these animals!!
    they are more then happy to harm us, and will do so when an opportunity arises!!
    Hashem Yishmor

  4. All Jewish media should announce a boycott, both in Israel and America, against this airlines until every single item is returned. Jewish travel agents should also refuse to sell tickets for them. Hit them in the pocketbook. Lawsuits should be considered.

  5. When will Yidden learn a lesson that to save a few $$$ you dont travel on cheap airlines . Same problems happen with Spirit airlines…Voos is bilig is tyer….
    If you can not afford the USA or European airlines either stay home or pay the price.!!!!

  6. I agree with the boycott idea and also pressure Israel to deny them landing rights at TLV until everything is returned by the filthy b—–ds. This was a premeditated crime committed by this airlines staff at TLV airport.

  7. Just Not fare is happy to sue the airline to get those that had stuff stolen, compensated. Feel free to contact us at justnotfare.com

  8. #I945……
    No, it happened apparently at the gate upon boarding, which are Israeli controlled,
    The are no Ukrainian workers in TLV airport,

  9. If there were such a concept as unity among Jews, two events would occur:
    A boycott of Ukrainian airlines would be established and implemented thereby shutting down the airline, and
    Moshiach would finally arrive.

  10. Check out the TripAdvisor reviews on UIA. They apparently are equal opportunity luggage losers with horrible customer service across all countries, religions and ethnic groups.

  11. Last month my son was allowed to board his Ukraine Air flight in TLV with a guitar as hand luggage. At the stopover in Kiev, Ukraine Air demanded €150 ($175) for him to bring the guitar on to his connecting flight to JFK. He didn’t have the money to pay so they confiscated his guitar. When we demanded the return of the guitar after landing in NY, the airline refused to respond to our complaints.

  12. #1, I’d much rather fly with a goyshe airline and have my baggage stolen than fly with a national airline of a Jewish country that has been repeatedly mechalel shabbos and has a history of lies and distortions. Let’s not forget, elal hate charediim, at least with Ukraine, you know where you stand with them

  13. Mr Git Meshige, your name suits you well.
    From our experiences with ALL airlines, behave like a mench, they treat you like a mench! In particular, please stop being so scathing about our fellow Jews, male and female, who staff the El Al planes. On our most recent flight from London to Tel Aviv it was time to daven mincha and I thought we did not have a minyan interested so I asked if it is ok for me to stand up by my seat to daven. The flight attendant very kindly said I could come over to the open area near the galley and daven there, which I did quite comfortably, all in the zechus of that kind lady.

  14. Refoel Moishe: glad youre finding your Jewish brother “git meshige” and the Non-Jewish lady kind. Keep up your Ahavas Yisroel

  15. Git Misheshe: You are entitled to your negative views of El Al but the majority of yiddeshe travelers prefer El Al to the alternative, including many gadolim (although some share your view and fly other U.S. carriers). Most importantly, c’v, if there were some terrorist or emergency situation, I would NEVER want to be on any airline other than El Al.

  16. I will repost here what I posted on DD Forums.

    I’m sorry but when you fly an airline that is the flag carrier of one of the most historically anti semetic countries to ever exist, who’s citizens enthusiastically murdered Jewish citizens during the Holocaust; the host of horrific pogroms, who to date has not passed ANY laws regarding the restitution of confiscated property of 1.5 million Jews, good luck with your interactions with them.

    They are upgrading their fleet with new 787-8 aircraft. Maybe finance payment is due and there is a scramble to get $$$ 😛

    Just my observation

  17. Why is there a need to bash Spirit Airlines at the end of this article? Spirit is a great airline that makes it possible for many large frum families to fly. The existence of Spirit has saved yidden thousands of dollars. Spirit has improved its service and has one of the best on-time performances in the industry,

  18. I flew UIA recently. my son warned me not to take a wheely. my husband and I went backpacks.

    also on principle, I don’t travel with an expensive shaitel or expensive jewellery and even that Jewellery was in my personal hand bag ok cheap 10 nis stuff and I used a shaitel that I bought at a gemach for 100 nis. our luggage did get lost but we got it intact 2 days later.

  19. Rrr-“non jewish lady”??
    She was a flight attendant on an el al plane; on what grounds do you assume her gentileness with certainty?
    It is obvious whose ahavas yisrael is tainted.
    Rephael moshe-thank you for your input. I have found the same in my travels.

  20. YWN moderator: I see on re-reading the article that the baggage was in fact taken just beofre the passnegers boarded, so please post this not what I originally wrote.

    Let me see if I can understand this. At Tel Aviv it is reported that some sort of scam was perpetrated on Jewish looking passengers. Who works at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, Israelis or Ukrainians? Are we not told over and over again that security at Ben Gurion is the best in the world? Where was security in all of this?

    I have flown UIA many times and it is true that to a large extent you get what you pay for. That is a plane with less service on board and meals you have to pay for. However many of the UIA planes are much newer than the El Al planes and their timekeeping is no worse than El Al. As with many airlines, El Al included, UIA are now enforcing their baggage rules more strictly. The US airlines meticulously weigh passengers baggage.

    There was without a doubt either a theft scam operated here or an employee or two who decided to teach the Jews a lesson. Anyone who has flown on a plane across the Atlantic and checked in with haredim understands how baggage rules, both checked baggage and carry on, are simply designed as a way to punish yidden who have bigger families, tefillin, sheitel boxes etc. and really should be given at least 50% more allowance than the goyim. Either way what happened is wrong and disgusting but it is not a precursor of the end of the world. I still wherever possible prefer goyish airlines to the so called Jewish airline that operates on Shabbos as Shabbos is more important to me.

    I have occasionally been asked to check carry on baggage. I never leave any real valuables in the bag; my tefillin always come out along with any meds, food for the journey, seforim, chargers etc. etc. I keep a spare folding nylon bag in the carry on for just such an eventuality. I have never ever had a problem with that bag.

  21. It makes no sense to me whey the airline is being blamed, when this was clearly done by a baggage handler from the airport in TLV, the anger and protest should be directed toward them, in addition should the airport want to co-operate they can look on their cameras and see who the handler was and exactly what he did with the bags.

  22. To R R R: Without getting too cynical, I address my comments to you and to Git Meshige in the hope that you might snap out of unnecessary criticism of our JEWISH sisters who staff El Al airplanes. OK, they might not be the “frumest” of women, but they have a nishmas yisroel which deserves respect especially when I tell you about another experience we had. We were coming back with El Al, when a “frum”- looking couple allowed their, bli ayin hora, lively little children to run amok over their central section of seats. Throughout most of the 5-HOUR flight, the children were ALLOWED to eat from the meals, drop food and packaging all over the seats and floor, jump up and down playing as lively kids do, making an unbelievable mess that would have been a disgrace even in London Zoo. The parents for their part had moved to some vacant spare seats where they enjoyed their tranquil escape into oblivion enjoying whatever was showing on the video screens while the surrounding passengers, including us, were simply disgusted at the total lack of responsibility shown by such nonchalance. The air hostesses for their part DID NOT EVEN ONCE MAKE ANY NEGATIVE GESTURE OR COMMENT. As they came past, they would calmly pick up the discarded food wrappers or wipe up the messy yoghurt spillages and attend to all on board in an unbelievable kind and caring manner as though it had been their own children who needed some motherly care, which indeed that lot did need. Had it been up to anyone else to manage the situation, the first people to have got a good talking to would have been the parents who allowed such a disgraceful Chilul Hashem to occur. Come on Yidden, let’s face the facts that YES there those who despise us, but please do not be the ones to give them reasons to hate us through OUR wrongful behaviour. Message received?

  23. To Git Meshige
    After reading your user name which is so perfectly fitting . I see no need to argue over your pointless and disturbing comment .

  24. I travel monthly from JFK to TLV. I always and only travel with ELAL. First of all for the security. It’s like NO OTHER airline.
    Secondly, always, if you act like a mensh you will be treated like a mensh.
    If you are seated next to a woman and want to be changed. ask politely without the screaming and insistence etc.
    Last. I do NOT work for ELAL.

  25. This seems like a nice public service announcement …..
    where the normal reaction should be….
    thank you for letting us know….
    and how terrible this must have been to the people
    that were scammed…
    instead YW allows some very stupid comments
    are you people insane?

  26. To Refoel Moishe: The horror story you are portraying does not sound like the average Jewish family flying, at least I never witnessed such dysfunction. (I’m sure your family doesn’t look like this, so were talking about a rare phenomenon) This does not take away from the fact that unfortunately, you are looking at frum yidden with a magnifying glass and the “not-yet-frum” yidden are just so kind (I realize now the stewardess you were talking about was Jewish you did not specify it was El Al)

    Frum yidden who stress mitzvos and kedusha can sometimes appear not so proper especially in public, while secular Jews put a big stress on being proper and “normal”. Lets be real, WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER NORMAL? EATING CHAZIR AND NOT MAKING A MESS ON THE PLANE? OR KEEPING 613, BUT ASKING TO SWITCH SEATS?

    This does not mean we should not work on making kiddush hashem in public.

  27. The last time I flew from Israel to Newark I booked with ELAl with a stopover in London and a change over to a connecting flight on Virgin Atlantic. Both airlines gave very good and polite service and I got all my luggage back intact.

  28. Thank you Basmelech1. Well of course it all went well if you stopped in London. Here we know how to do things right! (That should wind up some of the commentators on this site!)

  29. I had a bad experience with Ukrainian airlines a few years ago. I took the to small claims court and won. It was a headache, but I’m the end got my money back. I would recommend it.