Rishon Lezion Small Claims Court Judge Dalia Oestreicher has ordered Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) to pay NIS 5,000 compensation for racially abusing two Jewish passengers, and a delay in receipt of the baggage in Israel, after they refused to pay for excess baggage.
The incident took place on April 24 2019 on a UIA flight for Vienna to Tel Aviv with a stopover in Kiev. The passengers claim they were unable to board their flight because of overbooking but UIA said it was because they refused to pay for excess baggage - a claim that the court accepted.
As the passengers came to the gate for boarding the plane they were asked to weigh their suitcases. They were informed that the baggage was 100 grams overweight and they tried to switch items from the suitcase to a backpack to avoid the €60 excess fee.
At this point the passengers claim that the UIA staff began racially abusing them in English with remarks such as "Why do Jews always have a problem about paying?" and "Only €60 and the Jews have a problem about paying." At the same time, it was claimed, the staff joked among themselves on the matter in German in front of other passengers.
If all this was not enough, after their baggage was put on the plane, the passengers were told they had missed the plane. They bought ticket on a different flight to Israel for €980 (NIS 4,000) and only received their baggage one day after landing at Ben Gurion airport. UIA claim the passengers missed the flight because of their refusal to pay the €60.
UIA denied that their staff made racist remarks and insisted that I was the passengers who behaved badly, insulting their staff, raising their voices and disrupting barding procedures.
The judge accepted the passengers' version that they were racially abused and ordered UIA to pay them NIS 2,000 each and a further NIS 1,000 for the delay in their receiving the baggage.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 22, 2020
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020 .