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Jewish Group Accuses Frontier of “Bigoted Behavior” Over Removal of Couple

Jewish Group Accuses Frontier of “Bigoted Behavior” Over Removal of Couple
Joe Cortez

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs council is accusing Frontier Airlines of encouraging “bigoted behavior” after a couple were removed from a flight over an alleged face mask violation. The group says the family was removed because their 18-month-old child didn’t wear a covering, while Frontier says a “large group of passengers” didn’t comply.

Was an orthodox Jewish couple unfairly treated by Frontier Airlines when they were asked to leave a flight over an alleged face mask violation? USA Today reports the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) is accusing the Denver-based carrier of discrimination over the interaction caught on video.

Orthodox Group and Airline Provide Conflicting Narratives Over Incident

The incident happened aboard Frontier Airlines Flight 2878, departing on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021 from Miami International Airport (MIA) to LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) in New York. In a nearly two-minute video shared on Twitter, the OJPAC accuses Frontier of singling out the couple because their infant was not wearing a face covering. As they leave the aircraft, the video shows people applauding, while they accuse staff of saying “we did it.”

On a second video, another Jewish couple are seen confronting the cabin crew over the incident. When other Jewish flyers got up to leave the aircraft, the flight was ultimately cancelled.

Frontier confirmed that Flight 2878 was deboarded and ultimately cancelled, but dispute the OJPAC’s account of what happened. The airline claims that combative attitudes and alleged aggression towards the crew lead to the couple’s removal and flight cancellation.

“Multiple people, including several adults, were asked repeatedly to wear their masks and refused to do so,” a Frontier spokesperson told USA Today. “Based on the continued refusal to comply with the federal mask mandate, refusal to disembark the aircraft and aggression towards the flight crew, local law enforcement was engaged.”

Although there are questions as to which side escalated the situation, other groups are weighing in by asking for more information. The Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey called on the Airline to do “a full and transparent” investigation into the incident.

Families Continue to Run into Troubles with Infants and Face Masks

Although this incident is unique due to the accusations of anti-Semitism, families have been particularly affected by face covering rules when flying with toddlers. By September 2020, several families publicly accused airlines of targeting smaller flyers and children with autism spectrum disorders unfairly, prior to the federal face mask mandate was instituted.

View Comments (14)

14 Comments

  1. njmacman

    March 3, 2021 at 4:12 am

    This is quite disturbing. Review of the videos available on other websites show the couple continually wearing their masks, the one year old not. People on the flight were trying to defend the couple respectfully. Some in the flight crew seemed unprofessional and biased which is unacceptable. The FAA should look into this incident and heads should role. People are uptight as it is without an experienced flight crew agitating people’s fears.

  2. vargha

    March 3, 2021 at 4:15 am

    It’s bad no matter how you slice it for Frontier. Even if they weren’t being anti-Semitic, they were still way over the top in their behavior. Absolutely disgusting.

  3. mc4bbs

    mc4bbs

    March 3, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Who cares that they are Jewish!?!?

    Everyone MUST wear a mask or get off the plane and get added to the no-fly list!

    I really HATE when people cry bigotry when they are REALLY trying to get away with something. Antisemitism is NOT a get out of jail card. Wear your mask or be booted off the plane NO MATTER YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS or NATIONALITY.

    WEAR YOUR MASK OR BE GONE!

  4. polinka

    March 3, 2021 at 8:30 am

    There are several more videos on Twitter. The videos are problematic b/c they show at least 3 unrelated adults confirming the staff were abusive and “high fived” each other when the captain decided to make the family deplane. It certainly appears to be discrimination against a highly visible religious group of people for really now reason. The other passengers where backing them.

  5. Jackie_414

    March 3, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Taking a child under two years old on a flight is child abuse. Is pinching a child on purpose child abuse? Is twisting a child’s arm until he or she cries child abuse? Of course they are. Well, the pain a child endures because of pressure differentials in their ears that everyone senses is far worse, and it is pain inflicted on purpose. That is why we hear children screaming while the aircraft is ascending or descending, but particularly on descent. Children under two years old should not be allowed boarding. It is child abuse on the part of the parent or guardian and child abuse on the part of the airline.

  6. donyagf

    March 3, 2021 at 9:14 am

    I bet the airline would get sued if that infant gets infected with COVID by the parents. If other infants from other races were left to sit there maskless, then yes this would have been racially motivated; however from the description this was not the case on this flight.

  7. DeltaFlyer123

    March 3, 2021 at 10:17 am

    As a Jew, it concerns me whenever there is a possible antisemitic action. However, this video doesn’t really show anything other than what appears as a masked couple with a baby carrier is preparing to deplane. More information is needed.
    But lacking that, I would be foolish to think that antisemitic incidents don’t occur in the USA. They do, and it concerns me greatly. My real question is, would this have happened to a non-Jewish family?

  8. testycal

    March 3, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I am jewish and always embarassed over this type of uncaring behavior. Am I a bigot as well?

  9. jybrick

    March 3, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Did a Jewish person just compare their treatment on the plane to “Germany”? Seriously?

  10. ftv

    March 4, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Babies have to follow the law, too. No exception for naughty children. I’m glad they were removed and offer the airline and its passenger should sue these passengers for thinking just because they have a child, they are special.

  11. Annerk

    March 4, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    The CDC mandate is clear.

    “The following categories of people are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:

    A child under the age of 2 years;”

    A child under two should not wear a mask as it creates a substantial risk of asphyxiation or aspiration.

  12. John Aldeborgh

    March 5, 2021 at 5:15 am

    I must be missing something, I don’t see any “high 5’s” or a crew celebrating the ejection of passengers or any bigoted behavior. I see many passengers milling about when they should be sitting quietly in their seats minding their own business. The crew and pilot did exactly the right thing canceling the flight and travels should respect the instructions of all crew members. If you can’t do this and observe the rules, don’t get on the plane as you’re the problem, it’s that simple.

  13. dts6b

    March 5, 2021 at 8:30 am

    El Al (the Israeli Airline) would have treated these people the same way. It is embarrassing for most Jews when highly visible Orthodox Jews claim they are not subject to the same rules as everyone else in a secular setting such as transportation. El Al has had to remove many Orthodox Jews from flights over the years for various reasons — often arising from Orthodox men refusing to sit next to a woman who isn’t part of their family. All of my Jewish relatives and friends are embarrassed by such behavior.

  14. SamirD

    March 9, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Yep, another case for security cameras in the cabin…I won’t be surprised when it happens.

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