Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Jewish Family Sues Spirit Airlines Over Alleged Anti-Semitic Abuse

A Jewish family from New York is suing Spirit Airlines, claiming they were harassed by flight attendants on their way to Florida in a “discriminatory campaign,” Law.com reported.

The situation began over a question about safety regulations and allegedly resulted in one flight attendant labeling the family as “retarded Jews.”

In January, Yisroel Sternberg and Chana Beck boarded a flight from Newark to Fort Lauderdale with their three infant children. They bought an extra ticket for the baby’s carriage, which converted into a car seat. Doing so is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration but became an issue at check-in — it doubled as a stroller, which is against Spirit’s policies.

A flight attendant told them they couldn’t bring the carriage aboard. After further disagreements, the couple agreed to stow the seat below deck. Tensions worsened when an attendant grew angry at Sternberg, who was assigned to a seat separated from his family, for switching seats to help with his children. When he moved back, he was told to “shut up” with a threat to call the police.

The crew did call 911, claiming that the couple was “being disruptive and cursing at the flight attendants,” according to the complaint. When the plane landed, they were escorted off by two sheriff’s deputies, their return tickets were voided and they received a lifetime ban from Spirit.

Spirit would not comment on the case but Derek Dombrowski, the media relations manager, told Law.com that the airline stands against discrimination.

“Spirit Airlines strives to maintain a welcoming environment for all of our guests, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” Dombrowski said.

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.