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Family Missing Uman Trip Receives $11,000 In Compensation From Airline

A new ruling occurred in a small claims court in Israel on Thursday when an airline was ordered to reimburse six family members $11,000 after the family missed their scheduled flight to Uman. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs, who were offered a second flight after their first did not depart on time, were worried that the second flight would arrive too late and would force them to desecrate Shabbos. They, therefore, refused to get on the second conciliatory flight and ended up suing the airline for the cancellation of their tickets.

The incident occurred a year-and-a-half ago after the family purchased a Ukraine International Package that included plane tickets from Israel to Odesa, then from Odesa to Uman, and a hotel reservation in Uman.

The family arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare before their original flight, but due to various complications, the airline did not depart that plane on time and asked all the passengers to deboard the plane. One of the plaintiffs told Israeli media that: “An hour passed and we didn’t take off. Then the flight crew said that one passenger was delayed and other passengers were refusing to leave the jetway. Oddly, they requested from us to disembark from the plane and wait for a later plane to Odessa. We realized that if we fly to Odessa on the later flight, we would desecrate Shabbat and we wouldn’t reach Uman before Shabbat. We had no choice but to give up the flight.”

When they asked to have their money reimbursed, the airline agreed to pay them for a one-way ticket each. Refusing to accept this, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the travel company in the Jerusalem Small Claims Court.

According to a report in Arutz Sheva, “The airline claimed there was no concern that the plaintiffs would have desecrated Shabbos because the plane landed six hours before the onset of Shabbos. The airline’s lawyers argued that the plaintiffs were looking for an excuse not to fly so they could illegally demand the restitution of their money.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

3 Responses

  1. according to halacha, you must plan in advance and not start out on a trip that will end close to the beginning of shabbos.

  2. The Plaintiffs here have not received anything. They have a judgment in their favor, that can, and may, be appealed. The Israel Aviation Services Law 5722-2012 deals with compensation for delayed and/or canceled flights and it would be interesting to see how the judgment sum has been calculated. YWN would be doing its Israeli readers a service by publishing an English version of the full judgment so that others can see what they are entitled to when serious delays or flight cancellations occur. Neither Israel or Ukraine are members of the EU but passengers flying into or out of EU nations passenger rights in case of denied boarding, downgrading, cancellation or long delay of their flight
    under Regulation (EC) 261/2004. El Al and the Israeli charter airlines have illegally sought to limit Israelis to the Israeli compensation which is far less favorable for shorter flights. If you fly to London and your flight is delayed by three hours or more you are entitled to the EU compensation of EU 600 per passenger including children and infants unless there are special extenuating circumstances which render the delay totally unforeseeable. The European Courts have interpreted that very strictly against the airlines. Israeli law basically requires a delay of eight hours before you get anything meaningful. If El Al or an Israeli charter company refuse to pay, lodge a complaint with the National aviation authority of the EU nation concerned and ask them to prohibit the airline from flying into the EU for breach of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.

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