El Al under fire from passenger who was moved seats for Charedi men

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2012

The Israeli national airline is facing legal action from a woman who claims she was made to move seats to make way for Charedi passengers.

According to Globes, El Al could have to pay around £8,000 if Debra Ryder wins her case against them.

She took action after she flew with the airline and was asked to move to the back of the plane because a Charedi man said he would not sit next to her. He reportedly sat in her seat and refused to get up when she arrived, in order to prevent her from sitting near him or other Charedi men in the row.

She said the seat she was given as a replacement did not fit her health requirements, and that she missed out on her vegetarian meal because of the move.

She said she was humiliated and is suing for emotional distress and gender discrimination.

Ms Ryder is being advised by the Israel Religious Action Centre, which recently helped 15-year-old Ariella Marsden of Bet Shemesh win a discrimination case against an Israeli bus company.

"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," said a company spokesman. "The passenger's complaint will be examined."

Last updated: 2:48pm, August 10 2012