American Still Hasn’t Responded To Accusations Of Anti-Semitism; Think You See A Safety Issue On A Plane? Here Is What I Would Do

AA E175, Ian Petchenik, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via flickr
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Earlier this week, 2 unrelated Orthodox Jews, aged 17 and 21, were unceremoniously tossed off of their flight from Cleveland to Reagan National Airport.

American has so far refused to issue any statement on what happened or why they were removed. To me, that means they don’t have any plausible justification for the removal of 17 year old Reuvi Scheinerman from the flight, so they’re saying nothing and are hoping that people forget about the story.

The Forward published the story today as have several blogs, but the mainstream media has not. One reporter tells me that the issue is not having any uninvolved eyewitnesses or video from the flight, but locating people from a small plane without news coverage is a difficult task indeed. The flight crew is not authorized to speak to the media.

Were you on AA flight 4447 on 5/5? Please email to share what you saw.

Our original X/Twitter thread was viewed nearly 200,000 times. You can like, repost, and quote these posts to continue to spread awareness of the story:



Yehudah Roffman, 21, wasn’t even supposed to be on the flight. He and other passengers flying to JFK missed their flight due to long TSA lines and were rebooked to LaGuardia via DC. He told DansDeals that he was nervous about a dent he noticed on the Embraer 175’s tail and his mother told him to advise a flight attendant.

That was good advice.

My assumption is that he was removed for asking about the dent some 5 times at the front of the plane. The crew never acknowledged his concerns and told him to take his seat, before deciding to remove him from the plane.

Inexplicably, Reuvi Scheinerman, who had no interaction with the crew or Yehudah and had never even met him before, was also then removed from the flight. The only common denominators? They were both flying back to their respective yeshivas after Pesach break, with Reuvi headed to Connecticut and Yehudah headed to New York City. They were also both wearing typical yeshiva garb: black pants, a dark suit jacket, and a black fedora. And both had kosher flip phones, non-smartphones with only calling and SMS capabilities, which is very common among yeshiva students.

I’ve flown the E175 many times, but I’ll admit that I’ve never looked very closely at the tail. Turns out, to the untrained eye it certainly does look like the tail is dented where it meets the “tail wings” or adjustable horizontal stabilizer:

AA E175 Tail, Ian Petchenik, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via flickr


Yehudah wasn’t the first person to notice the dent. A quick search shows nervous passengers on reddit and other forums fretting about seeing the dent as well.

In an era of plug doors falling off airborne planes, several near-misses at United that warranted an FAA review of safety procedures and suspension of new routes, and endless failures and whistleblowers at Boeing, one would think the crew would be more sympathetic to a 21 year old who was nervous about what does look like a dent.

Surely the crew of an E175 would know that it does indeed look like a dent and would reassure him that it’s actually just the way that plane is designed?

But US crews are seemingly untrained to properly deescalate situations like this. Instead, they appear to have ignored his concerns and told him to just sit down.

That’s just wrong. Yes, he should have listened to instructions the first time, but he was clearly nervous and frustrated at being ignored for something he was genuinely concerned about. How hard would it have been to treat him with respect and reassure his concerns?

Personally, if I noticed something that bothered me about my plane, I’d take my seat, and ring the flight attendant call button. I rarely use that button, but this is a case that it’s meant for.

There are a few things that cabin crew really don’t like. They don’t like passengers holding up the boarding process. That makes sense, as most don’t get paid until the doors are closed, so get to your seat and sit down. And they don’t like passengers in the galley area. It gets in their work space and can feel confrontational.

While sitting down in my seat, I’d calmly tell the flight attendant when they come over that I noticed XYZ and was wondering if that is normal. If the response reassured me, I’d end the conversation there, but if not, I might ask to speak to the lead flight attendant or a pilot if my concerns rose to that level. And if I still felt like I was being blown off, I would probably ask to be deboarded. That’s preferable to causing a scene that may get you blacklisted from an airline.

However, these are nuances that I’ve picked up after flying more than 1,000 flights, and I wouldn’t blame a young flier for not knowing plane etiquette.

If I noticed something that looks wrong at the gate prior to boarding, I’d probably ask the gate agent as well. They’re usually too busy to help, but crew often hangs around that area, and the gate agent may be able to refer the question to the crew.

The E175 “dented” design was pointed out by Bored Bochur on the DansDeals Forums. There are hundreds of travel and aviation geeks on DDF at all hours of the day and night, so it’s a great place to share a concern or ask a question to see if something should be brought up to the flight crew.

The main thing is that when you see something, you should still say something, and not be scared of being thrown off of a flight. After all, there have been plenty of incidents where passengers do see real problems, such as missing bolts from a wing to anomalies seen from the window, you have a perspective that pilots don’t have. If this story stops people from speaking up, that will have been the wrong lesson to take.

Have you ever noticed something wrong or suspicious on your flight?

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34 Comments On "American Still Hasn’t Responded To Accusations Of Anti-Semitism; Think You See A Safety Issue On A Plane? Here Is What I Would Do"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


well said.


This is a great post!!!


Great post. Shame on AA.


Is a lawsuit in the making?


All the avgeeks know that E175 isn’t made by Boeing so it’s all good


Dan! Great article

Samuel L Bronkowitz

this is just bad advice


Dan, do you find it odd they said nothing to the passenger expect return to your seat (5 times)? Nothing like “it is nothing”, “don’t worry about it” or “we will look into it”. This in no way excuses the targeting of the second passenger.


E175 means this is likely a subcontractor from another company. They just have the AA paint. They pay less too, usually less experienced (but not always).
This means that American isn’t answering because it wasn’t them, and everyone is going to play the sub-contractor blame game. Which is the biggest bonus in subcontracting anything and everything (I deal with contracts, look at the clauses.)


This may have been posted already (because I did not read all 200+ comments on the other thread…), but after reading about this now, I think the pilots name is missing from all these stories. If the crew is blaming the pilot, and it was clearly the pilot’s decision, and AA is not responding, then I would think it is okay, to name the pilot (and maybe see if he has any social media footprint, comments, etc.). Is there a way to find out who piloted the plane?


It’s not just the E-175, all planes have that dent there, you just don’t always see it. AA planes is where it’s most noticeable though because of the colors whereas other planes (Like United) it’s all white there and therefore less noticeable. But take a look at a 777 and you’ll see the same thing.


I would email these ppl about this.Mark Ewing
Director – Customer Relations
1 Skyview Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76155
Carolyne Truelove
Vice President of Reservations and Customer Relations
1 Skyview Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76155
Robert Isom
CEO and Chief Recruitment Officer
1 Skyview Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76155


I emailed all those contacts a copy of the article


Just cancelled my AA credit card

The best guy

lol because of this story?


Would filing a DoT complaint help?


Doesn’t always help the person filing the complaint, but I believe it’s helpful in order to create a record of unlawful discrimination for the benefit of others since too few people complain officially when they should do so.

Here’s our DOT on discrimination against passengers, including on complaint process:

Also, get the ADL on this thing if they aren’t already on it.


We need to get DOT to update the documents to mention prohibition of discrimination against followers of Judaism and speakers of Hebrew and Yiddish too.


Is it time to start a petition saying that we won’t fly AA until they deal with the situation properly?


Thank you.


Having flown hundreds of flights on the E170 – E175 between united express and American.. I have noticed this “dent” before.. I once asked a crew member and they explained that it was how it was part of the normal design… end of story…


Thank you for publicizing this unfair and unfair happening.

I flew Alitalia a few years ago, and told the purser that it was abnormally hot before taking my seat. He told me not to worry. I told him that again that it is extremely hot on this FCO-BRU (Rome-Brussels flight), and if not lowered, they will most likely have a medical emergency. He snapped at me to sit down, which I did.

Indeed a passenger did not feel well, and above Luxembourg they turned around to fly to VCE (Venice) for an emergency landing [which was further away than continuing to BRU…].

I told the purser, well, I told you…
He answered: Be quiet, this is an emergency!

The End


This my response I received when emailed AA about it “Thank you for reaching out to the Customer Relations team at American Airlines.

We are deeply sorry for the circumstances you experienced during your recent journey with us. Our goal is to ensure our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and your feedback brings into focus this commitment. We’ll make your comments available to our leadership team to explore necessary improvements and provide you with the superior experience you deserve.

Thank you for giving us the chance to review your feedback. On behalf of the entire American Airlines team, thank you for choosing to fly with us. Wherever your life’s journey may lead, we’ll be thrilled to take you there.”


So where do you plan on heading from here




My father just flew from NY to Detroit. He had a pre check that he pays for yearly. The TSA took my father apart. Isn’t that racial profiling? My father is a regular frum yid. He cancelled it.


Many years ago, I was on an ElAl flight from Israel to US. I was sitting over the wing and as we took off, I noticed a rivet on the flap panel pop up in the vacuum over the wing. I drew a picture of the rivet pattern and pointed out the specific rivet, and explained the situation to a flight attendant. And mentioned that I am a pilot myself. She told the lead steward, who came over and I explained it again. Luckily, when the pilot retracted the flaps that part stalled and the rivet dropped back into position, so it didn’t jam the flap. When we landed at Mirabel, they told me they were going to check it out, and emphasized it would cost thousands of dollars, as if they were humoring me. They brought over a mechanic in a cherry picker over the wing and dropped the flap, but since there was no vacuum the loose rivet looked fine. The mechanic never touched the loose rivet, shrugged and that was it. Nobody was with me, and sure enough the rivet popped out again when we took off. I hope they eventually caught it.


if your still alive to tell the story i guess it was fine…