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Florida Woman Sues El Al for Making her Give her Seat to a Haredi Man

Debra Ryder, a Jewish resident of Florida and an El Al passenger, is asking the carrier for 50,000 shekel ($12,500) in compensation for allegedly switching her seat on a flight from the U.S., after a Haredi man refused to sit next to her. She claims that the flight attendant moved her without her expressed consent to a seat in the back of the plane, a location that did not meet her medical needs.

Ryder is seeking the compensation for emotional distress and gender discrimination.

“In his quiet way, the flight steward hinted that they were religious, that they saw me, and that they were not prepared to get up from their seats,” Ryder told IDF Radio. “It was clear that the flight attendant did not know how to deal with the situation. They didn’t even ask me and I was humiliated. If they had asked, it would have felt different. I never thought I’d have such an experience.”

Ryder’s attorney Orly Erez-Likhovsky, of the Israel Religious Action Center, sent a letter to El Al demanding that it set clear instructions to employees on how to act in such cases.

El Al said in response, “El Al flight attendants, who are in the front line of service with passengers, are faced with varied requests, and try to help as much as they can. The passenger’s complaint will be examined and dealt with.”

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10 Responses to “Florida Woman Sues El Al for Making her Give her Seat to a Haredi Man”

  1. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    Good for her. Haredi men tend to forget that we -women- were also created by the same G-d and deserve the same respect. If he wanted to sit next to a man, he should have had the common courtesy of asking to exchange place, not taken it and then refuse to surrender it to the legitimate occupant because she was female. El Al is co-responsible, rather than either upgrading her or offering a refund as a compensation for loss of her sit, they had her move to a less desirable place. Had the victim been a man, El Al would have compensated him by sitting him in 1st class. That they didn't do so for a woman speaks volume for their own lack of proper respect for their female customers.

  2. they should have kick him out of the plane!

  3. Wish her success and El Al the punishment!

  4. Do the Haredi men accept a cold drink from the hands of a woman flight attendant? Or would they insist on being served by men? Shande!

  5. The Haredi man and EL-AL, are both wrong. When the seat allocation was made, the man had the time to make the issue clear. After, he missed this opportunity, he should have to be moved, to an other seat, and not the women.

  6. Ralph Figueroa says:

    The flight attendant should have sought Debra Ryder's consent. You cannot allow for passengers to change the rules of the game. The airline handles this matter very badly. Ms. Ryder deserves to be compensated.

  7. This is ridiculous. I hope this woman gets more than what she requested. The misogyny of the Haredi cult should not be tolerated, especially by Israel. Israel is the Jewish homeland. That means to all Jewish, not just the ultra orthodox. Stop coddling these Pains in the A$$ and respect the needs of the majority of the Jews out there.

  8. Anastasia Klein says:

    These Haredi are meshugina..what's next…telling the woman to wear a burka? man oh man…why didn't he put on his goggles..you know, the ones they just invented so those nuts don't have to look at women…

  9. Mads Nielsen says:

    Religion is no excuse for misbehaving!

  10. Anthony Davis says:

    Creeping sharia law. Or in this case, halakha (Jewish law). Remember, this happened on American soil. There needs to be huge lawsuits and even prison time for violating civil rights and forcing someone to kowtow to a middle eastern religion.

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