They Did Not Get Their Glatt Food…And She Fainted


untitled6An interesting lawsuit is reported in the pages of Yediot Achronot. A rov and his rebbetzin flew from Eretz Yisroel to the United States and back on Israir Airlines. They had ordered the “special kosher” glatt meals for their trip. On the return trip, they were told that their names were not on the glatt meal list and therefore there were no meals for them.

When they got off the plane, the rebbetzin fainted and fell backwards, hurting herself in the process. Her shaitel fell off and her dress became disheveled in an embarrassing fashion.

For their pain, embarrassment and discomfort, they sued the airline for 17,800 NIS.

Israir’s defense was that they are under no obligation to provide glatt meals, along with the fact that the couple could have eaten the regular kosher and not fasted for the duration of the flight. The women’s falling down and hurting herself happened after the flight, the airline said, while she was no longer on their plane, so they are not responsible for it. The airline also said that the amount being claimed is ridiculous, as it is nearly double the price of a round trip ticket.

The courts rejected the defense, saying that they have no right to change a person’s meal in the middle of the flight, so they cannot claim that the rov and rebbetin should have eaten the regular kosher meal. Israir, the courts said, had no right to put them in the dilemma of choosing to eat something they do not approve of. Also, the agreement to provide glatt meals seems to be a contractual agreement entered upon the purchase of the ticket with the glatt meal requested. Israir did not show that they have no such obligation to provide the requested meal. Even though the injury came from a fall after the flight, it is clear that it was a direct result of the flight itself and therefore Israir is liable.

They were only awarded 3000 NIS plus court costs, and not the full sum requested.

As Rafi Goldmeier comments on his excellent blog, it is good to see the courts defend the religious rights of the passengers and not let Israir get away with it. It is a ridiculous claim that they were not obligated to provide the requested meal. If they agreed to it as part of the flight, they have to provide it. If the passengers do not eat other meals for religious reasons, that is their right to choose and Israir has no right to say otherwise.

Usually, people bring food along knowing that one cannot rely on the airline. In any case, often, the food is not very good, so you need to have other food available.

Perhaps now the airline – and other airlines as well – will take their passengers’ needs more seriously.

{Yair Israel, Rafi Goldmeier-LifeInIsrael Blog}


  1. I think we can all learn a lesson from this story. My Mother allways says when ever you travel, allways take along more food then you need. You never know, and in the worst case or best case you can allways offer some packaged food to another person on the flight.