What Has Happened In The 2 Weeks Since Lufthansa’s Shocking Anti-Semitic Fiasco In Frankfurt

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On May 3rd, nearly 130 Jewish passengers took a Lufthansa flight from JFK to Budapest, with a connection in Frankfurt. Some of them had bought group tickets, but others were traveling on their own.

There were some mask incidents among both Jews and non-Jews on the flight from JFK to Frankfurt, but Lufthansa apparently failed to write up incident reports identifying individual violators.

On May 4th, they denied boarding to 127 Jewish passengers going from Frankfurt to Budapest and the Lufthansa rebooking counter told many of them that they were banned from flying Lufthansa for 24 hours. Non-Jews were allowed onto the flight to Budapest and to other destinations.

The story was shocking, but also surprising was the utter dearth of coverage on it. There was nobody talking about what happened on the flight and nobody being interviewed on the record. Could this be happening in Germany in 2022? I decided to dedicate several days to investigating what happened. What I found out was even more chilling than I imagined.

While interviewing nearly 2 dozen passengers from the flight, I learned that 2 Jewish passengers in first class, one dressed in a polo shirt and another wearing a baseball cap, managed to make it onto the flight to Budapest. However I also learned that 3 Jewish passengers, 2 of whom had used miles for their flights, were paged to board the flight and then denied boarding due to their Hasidic dress. These denials at the gate were a key part of the story for several journalists at mainstream newspapers. There were also several non-Hasidic men, women, and children who were banned from Lufthansa for 24 hours, despite having worn masks on the previous flight.

While interviewing passengers I also heard mumblings about a video of a Lufthansa employee admitting that they banned the Jews. Sure enough, I eventually found the person who took that video and he allowed me to post it after blurring out faces and names to comply with German privacy laws. The video was even more chilling that I imagined, blaming the problems on the Jews and saying that they all had to pay for the crimes of a couple.

What followed next was a whirlwind of viral coverage on Twitter. Things got even more heated after YouTube and Instagram removed our video of the Lufthansa Supervisor’s comments, claiming the video was anti-Semitic.

To YouTube’s credit, they publicly admitted they got things wrong when they deleted the video, and they restored it:


It took a week, but the story was finally picked up by media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, CBS News, Forbes, JTA, Haaretz, and others, including all major German media. Many passengers were nervous about speaking to newspapers that haven’t portrayed Hasidic Judaism in a very fair light in the past, but I pushed them to go on the record and for the most part, I think the papers were very fair and sympathetic in their coverage. Credit goes to those passengers who were willing to put their names out there in the mainstream media.

Lufthansa issued an apology that only made things worse, which caused the ADL to call them out for it. The truth is that they were likely caught between a rock and a hard place. Their lawyers didn’t want them admitting to guilt, which is needed in any meaningful apology.

Their “creative” solution was to apologize through a Rabbi in Berlin and let him know that they had suspended at least 1 employee involved, though only a 19 second video clip of that conversation has been made public. My assumption is that the things told to the Rabbi can’t be used against Lufthansa in a potential future lawsuit.

And while that may work from a legal standpoint, it did nothing to engender any goodwill among Jewish customers, who are likely to think twice before booking a future Lufthansa flight.

United tried a non-apology when they dragged Dr. Dao off their flight, but video evidence proved that they were at fault. They bit the bullet and apologized, which may have cost them more in a legal settlement, but it also placated angry customers. Lufthansa is clearly choosing another route.

Lufthansa is licensed by the US DOT to operate. I reached out to the DOT to ask about this case and how it might affect Lufthansa’s standing.

The DOT responded that federal law is clear that an airline is not allowed to discriminate or refuse passage on factors such as religion or race.

In 2015, the DOT banned Kuwait Airlines from flying between NYC and London as they refused to transport Israeli passengers on the flight.

The DOT told me that their Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) is responsible for enforcing the statutes that prohibit unlawful discrimination by airlines against air travelers and that the OACP is aware of the referenced incident and is investigating.

I asked United for comment on their relationship with Lufthansa given this incident, and they responded that I should reach out to Lufthansa for comment. Lufthansa has not responded to my requests for comment since what they wrote to me in the original post on the incident.

President Biden’s Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt is the special envoy to combat Anti-Semitism. She didn’t mince her words in an interview with NBC. And her reaction was similar to mine,

“When I first heard it, I said, ‘Oh, this must be wrong. Someone must be misreporting this. And then of course, it turned out to be precisely right — and worse than we even thought because we saw videos of Lufthansa employees, supervisors saying, well some of the Jews were bad, so all the Jews will suffer. Had it happened to any group, had it happened in this country to a group of Black people, or any place. It’s classic prejudice and classic anti-Semitism. Now, if any airline had done it, it would have been outrageous. But the terrible, awful irony of it coming from the German national airline was outrageous. My office and the State Department have been in touch with the people in the German government to talk about this, because these were American citizens. And the people with whom we’ve been in touch with, the people whose portfolio is combating anti-Semitism are very concerned about it…The first response of Lufthansa that they need better sensitivity training…they need a whole lot more than that.”

“A Black teenager gets in trouble. Instead of saying a teenager got in trouble, you say, ‘Oh, well that’s how Blacks are.’ A Jew does something? ‘That’s how Jews are,’” Lipstadt said. “A small number of people do something wrong and you claim that that’s the whole group.”


Congressman Christopher Smith is also meeting with Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt to keep pressure on Lufthansa.


Most of the passengers on the flight have signed on to be represented by the American Center for Law & Justice on a pro-bono basis for a class action lawsuit against Lufthansa, though some have hired their own lawyers.

For now, Lufthansa isn’t rushing to issue any more apologies, but hopefully that will still be forthcoming at some point in the future. They also haven’t reached out to any of the passengers involved.

At this point, I think that I’ve done all I can and the mainstream media has done their role ensuring that the public knows what happened. Now it’s up to politicians, lawyers, and organizations like the ADL to pursue real change and hopefully a proper apology as well.

Will you fly Lufthansa if they are an option on your next trip?

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84 Comments On "What Has Happened In The 2 Weeks Since Lufthansa’s Shocking Anti-Semitic Fiasco In Frankfurt"

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Than you sir

You the Dan! Thanks for everything you did here.


@Dan, we appreciate all that you do and appreciate your honest and humble approach to making the world a better place.


Wow Dan!
Your reporting on this incident has been phenomenal!
All your reports were clear, easy to read, and written in a way which proved the truthfulness of it.

Thank you!

Sherri Zaslow

Thanks for being so proactive on behalf of us all!!!


While this event is horrifying and LH should be shamed/punished for it, there is no comparison between this and Kuwait Airways. Especially from a legal perspective.

Banning Israeli passengers is official Kuwait Airlines policy.

Banning Jews is not official LH airlines policy even if they sure didn’t act that way on this flight.

There is zero chance that LH gets the Kuwait treatment, nor should it. It would be like banning United airlines for the Dr. Dao incident.


As of this writing, :Yes, but only if they are more convenient or cheaper than other options ” was chosen by (24%, 107 Votes) of people who voted.
This site has a very committed group of religious Jewush participants. If we are thinking like this, imagine what everyone else thinks. In other words, we are not taking this seriously enough to give up money or convenience for principle. It makes me sad.


Psst, not all who visit here are of the above mentioned


You are right and this isn’t a scientific poll anyway.
But there are more Frum Jews here than on other travel sites and there were hundreds of comments and outrage here when this happened. We hope other people see the behavior as outrageous and stand with us. Dan’s excellent reporting got national and international attention to this problem. If people see that it boils down to saving some time and money it will look like we as a community aren’t really concerned.
I’m not saying that companies need to be destroyed over incidents but individual choices are still noticed. If I tell my and friends and people at work that I won’t fly Lufthansa, they will ask why and I will tell them. My point is that if we don’t stand up for ourselves who will?

Dan, I noticed that you didn’t have a choice on the poll that says something like I’m not sure but I want to see how LH handles the situtation in the long term.


Maybe it’s because people do not see it as black and white as you do. I’m sure there was bias, discrimination, collective punishment etc but many of us see the other side as well. Furthermore, it’s not like the Swiss, Turks, and French love us.


Why should this be a principle?
If someone who hates me gives me a considerably good deal, I see no reason not to fly with them.

Really shocked

I can’t believe how many people would still fly them after all this.

Unkle Runkle

I can’t believe how many *won’t* fly with them. So they have a goofy employee. Big woop. They apologized – life moves on…


Until it happens to you 🙁

Marlene bendayan

They did not apologize, and even if they did or do it it would be under duress. It did not show the police with machine guns called to the scene. All that was missing were the dogs and the words “ Shnell, Shnell.” What a disgrace! There is a clear line of black and white here. They never changed. The evil and hate is in their blood waiting for the circumstances and opportunity to emerge. After all they are the “ uber mentchen,” are they not and have perfected the art of “ selection.”


I nominate @dan for a Pulitzer


I second the motion


Why do we even need their apology? I don’t see how even the most official apology from LH would change anything.


Guilting others is a key cultural value of most of Dan’s readers.

Jeffrey Ruttner

Please people, do not fly this airline ever again.


A big debt of gratitude , goes out to our man, The Dan. Thank you for all your timeless efforts, for calling out another clear incident of baseless anti-Semitism.


An inordinate amount of Jewish pax fly LH because they serve areas that we tend to fly to. While some airlines are strongest in Africa or the Far East, LH and OS have great strength in parts of Eastern Europe. The above and other reasons are why Jewish agents tend to do a lot with LH group.


That was until now. The question is, will they continue to? There are always other choices that can be made.


There is also Turkish

Ray Shaw

I am doing the same in July, LH has a great schedule and price, however because of their actions I am going via IST using Turkish


I wonder what Dan voted …


What LH did was unconscionable, but many frum people have flown them for many years (recently, years ago no Jew would step onto a German airliner) with no issue. I do want to know what caused them to go so off the rails at this flight. Did the people on the flight act as if they owned the place etc.. We have all seen it. No doubt they were anti- Semitic but would it have happened with a group of people from say Baltimore? Just wondering…..


This comment is inappropriate and antisemetic. You’re doing the exact same thing the airline did-painting an entire group of people with one brush. Facts that have been coming out have been very clear-there were a very small number of visibly Jewish passengers (along with non-Jewish passengers) who did not comply with masking rules. The airline made a terrible mistake and lumped everyone who looked Jewish together. No need for you to do the same thing, and make the same mistake that they did.


@newt made a great point it wouldn’t happen to Frum Yiddin from Baltimore. There is an aggressive culture amongst a specific community and in my opinion it contributes to the antisemitism out there.


“A specific community” “wouldn’t happen to frum Yiddin from…”

You’re doing the same thing that they did. This wasn’t a specific community, and you weren’t on the flight. Absolutely no one has claimed that they were taken off of the flight for any reason other than masking. All the reputable information that has been coming out has dealt with the actions of a couple of individuals (who were 100% wrong when they ignored the mask mandate). You are making unjustified accusations and assumptions based on how people dress. Remember that they didn’t ask for anyone’s ZIP code here. They lumped people who are visibly similar together without merit.

Seems to be Motzi Shem Ra.


My grandfather remembers certain ppl making the same justification in 1938 if only the religious Jews wouldn’t stick it in their face that’s why they hate us it’s those religious Jews that caused them to gas 6 million Hitler himself writes it in me in Kampf it’s because they are dishonest and aggressive culture religious Jews have….


Newt and Jake are correct. We should look ourselves in the mirror and improve OUR behaviour. Yes, they are antisemitic BUT the behaviour of many amongst us is appalling and we do bring some of it upon ourselves. Sad but true.


No arguments with that. We have plenty of bad apples. But to paint an entire community with one brush is just wrong. Today (lag baomer) is the day that we remember how important it is for Jews to treat each other the right way. It’s a good day for a little introspection regarding how we view others who may be different than us.


If you had been on that flight (or in Germany circa 1939) it would have made no difference what hat you wear or dont, or what city you are from.




Thank you for taking the time to call out this behavior!


They apologized to the rabbi, but the rabbi wasn’t on the flight. He does not represent all people on the flight. I have nothing against the rabbi, he’s a fine man, but Lufthansa accomplished nothing by apologizing to someone who wasn’t even there. They need to publicly apologize to everyone on that flight and they jolly well know who was there


Heck, he’s not even a rabbi in New York, Frankfurt or Budapest – the 3 relevant cities in this whole ordeal.

Did LH just google “Rabbi in Germany and he was the first person that came up?


Dan, you’ve more than done your part here. I would in theory fly Lufthansa. However, before this incident I would have flown them if they were a bit cheaper or a bit more convenient. Now, I would need a significant fare difference and or a far more convenient itinerary.

How this situation continues to unfold will determine where I stand on this. Specifically, I will be looking to see if their PR strategy from here on out is geared around doing the right thing or minimizing the amount they will no doubt have to pay out in the lawsuit.

mark n

A week ago you said you would wait before deciding about Lufthansa. So again I ask will you be advertising deals credit cards, mileage sweet spots etc on Lufthansa? Or suffice with your poll ? The hypocrisy is astounding. Cry antisemitism and then go right back when it suits you


We’ve never called for a boycott, I don’t think we would boycott them on site. Additionally as with all deals it’s up to the individual to decide to take advantage or not. And with 26% of readers saying they want the deal, I would say we would post a price mistake in the future. We have been posting deals on German products in general for over a decade now, and sure some people get mad, but I think people understand that others want these deals and just decide on an individual level how to proceed.


While the Lufthansa incident is horrific and disgusting ,I am surprised so many people are shocked . Anti Semitism is alive and well and growing at an exponential rate. There is no solution to anti semitism. It is inbreed from centuries of hatred. Whether you are American or German of English or French, you better wake up . There is antisemitism all around you and it only getting worse . It is in your government , in your place of work and in your neighborhood. Agencies trying to fight it over the decades are ineffective. The only solution to protect you and your family is to move to the only country that has your children’s and grandchildren’s future as part of their national charter and that is Israel.


Can I just point out that everyone agrees with the idea that a few “bad” Jews ought not spoil the bunch—such as Deborah Lippstadt said—but we agree that all of Lufthansa is bad because of the actions of one employee. It can’t be true in one instance and not the other.


The airline isn’t bad because of the actions of one employee. There were multiple employees involved here. And the airline is bad because of their unacceptable response.

Berel from CH

“However I also learned that 3 Jewish passengers, 2 of whom had used miles for their flights,”
Dear Dan, Why does it matter that they used miles?


Dan, great work! I just found your website today and the investigative journalism you’ve done here, puts all of the legacy media to shame. I hope to see these passengers file a class-action lawsuit to sue Lufthansa for millions.

Mevin Yavin

This is an opportunity to remind us (that is, those of us who are Orthodox Jews) that we are still in Galus despite the overall changes to the way the world runs today. This does not in any way condone Lufthansa, of course, but we should try to keep a lower profile and not flaunt ourselves whenever possible.
We can indeed avail ourselves of the tools of democracy to stand up for our rights (and thanks for that, Dan), but Galus is a fact.

Maier Solomon

To Mevin Yavin,
Finally, someone who hit it on the head. People – WE’RE IN GALUS! How can you forget about the “Halacha”? Remember the infamous story of the goy apologizing to the “Amish” on the train? BEHAVE when you’re in between the goyim (in BP too). We’re forgetting something very important: Those few know-it-alls that refused to wear masks made a chilul Hashem. No, does not justify Lufthansa at all. But a little cheshbon hanefesh would be in order.


As per daas torah. Unless one must have a personal disconnect with any German product there is no mitzva in boycotting unless it will cause an actual dent to their business. (Assuming the product is better for u in some way or another)


I’m not sure I’d want to get in bed with the American Center for Law & Justice as its people are strongly involved with jews for jesus organizations, but cest la vie.

Bracha klien

I just want to point out that the Lufthansa group annually donates 7 round trips to Israel on business class to Hatzolah of b.p. so while we cry out against the occurrence we acknowledge the goodwill of the airline in general.
This doesn’t justify any anti Semitic act even by mistake and even if “There is an aggressive culture amongst a specific community”.
Hate even for the best reason will by nature of hate go beyond the reason and specifics so we need to speak up against it even you don’t like culture of a community.


Why only 7 RTs? We should ask for more, or demand an apology.


thanks dan!


On the way back from Israel, we flew Lufthansa under code sharing. We had no problems with the flight itself. When we got to a stop in Frankfort, I think, we were forced to go through customs all over again, after having done so in Israel. Many of us had to open our bags for them to check. They were brusque and took things from us that shouldn’t have been taken.


Customs or security? There are no EU/German customs officials working out of Israel.

What was taken? I think details matter here.

Ted Rodgers

Thank you Dan – great reporting. Makes me think twice and three times before flying with them.


I often find myself changing my opinion on something after reading thoughtful comments on the internet and this is another case of this happening. After reading the comments, I think I would like to change my vote to “No, due to this incident”. This has put another question into my head which is whether this site will continue to publish “deals” on Lufthansa. If there were a great fare, even a mistake fare, on LH tomorrow, would this site mention it? Thanks for everything Dan and team do!

Nothing Here

@Dan I am using them to fly from FRA to JTR as they are the only direct airline. Not looking forward to it.


Surely its worth taking a connecting flight to avoid supporting LH. Never Forget!


Unfortunately I’m not surprised that over 20% of voters would still fly Lufthansa. People here are very used to suppressing their consciences to save a few dollars….


The poll is missing an option, “Only if it’s a price mistake, and Lufthansa will be losing money on me”…


Wow, I “guess never” forget will be expanded to cover additional things.


Thanks as always, for great reporting.
I would like to add one comment.

You mention that the gate agent called up people and asked them if they are “part of the group from NYC”. It would seem that you would partially justify their behavior for people that were part of the group.
However, there was never any indication whether the mask issues were with people who were traveling as part of the group. The non maskers could’ve very well been any of the individuals who purchased their tickets on their own with cash or miles, and therefore the airline is fully in the wrong for targeting anyone of the 2 groups AND anyone else who purchased a ticket on their own


Dan, I flew this past week on UA90 from EWR to TLV on Sunday May 15. In the weeks leading up to the flight, i was surprised that this flight was booked solid in all classes and so were the flights for the next day or two. Only when I got to checkin did i understand why. There was a large group of hasidim on this flight flying to Israel for Lag Baomer.

During flight boarding, the crew kept announcing that they couldnt close the door and leave the gate until everyone sat down. Many of the members of the group ignored repeated, direct requests to them to sit down so we could leave. In the end the flight took off 40 mins late partly due to this group of people constantly getting up. It seems they were doing musical chairs with their seats so that none of the men in their group had to sit next to women. The crew pleaded with them patiently to at least sit so the flight could leave and they could switch seats as much as they wanted after take off.

My son sat in the exit row so their was a largeish space in front of his seat. He had to search two rows back to store his roll-on because half of his overhead bin was occupied by a single black hat.People from this group congregated by these rows for several hours during the flight, talking the whole time and preventing people from sleeping

During the meal service kosher meals are served first, then regular meals, then drinks. The crew had to announce several times not to bring the finished kosher meals to the galley while they are serving the other meals so not to contaminate the food about to be served with garbage/refuse

There was a minyan or two during the flight,.but that seemed to pass without incident.
Since this was a united flight,.masks were not required, so that was not an issue here, but i can only imagine what that would have been like with this crowd if masks were required.

When I disembarked i told the crew that they had been very patient with this group and handled it pretty well. I could easily see this situation could have escalated with a different crew and turned very similar to the Lufthansa flight.
Personally I’m going to make sure never to fly to Israel in the week before Lag Baomer. My son came off the flight with a very sympathetic perspective to the Lufthansa crew after sitting thru this flight.


The difference I see here is that on your flight, there were a large number of people wreaking havoc. Whether or not they actually were “a group” may be unclear. I’m glad it did not escalate further. I wonder if airline staff have been given specific instructions not do what Lufthansa did!
On Lufthansa by all reports including from airline personnel only a few people were the problem. Basically they said “you all look alike to me” so let’s punish all of “those people”
All men in black hats and coats? All Asian people? All Blacks? All women? That would be just as offensive.


You bring up some points that are worth discussing. I also flew recently on United to TLV. On my flight, they also served the kosher meals first, then the non-kosher, and then the drinks. We waited over an hour from when our meal was served before we got a drink. It used to be that they came with a cart that had both kosher and non-kosher meals, which was followed by a drinks cart. I don’t know what made them change it (they probably did have some reasoning), but I cannot blame anyone who is sitting with an empty tray on their tiny little tray for over an hour, for not getting very annoyed, and looking to dump it. I understand the flight attendants’ frustration with that, but you can understand the passengers (I’m sure the same would be if they served with the non-kosher meals first, and those passengers had to wait with their tiny tray full of garbage for over an hour without a drink, they would also look to dump…)
On my previous flight that I took with United, the flight attendant got on mic at beginning of flight and worked with everyone. He said we’re gonna serve meals now, and in an hour the back will be available for minyanim, and everything worked fine. But this flight, the crew chief was not as workable. She announced to whoever wants to daven, they should not stand by the bulkhead, as it bother those sitting there. Now I was sitting with other frum people at the bulkhead, and it did not bother us. Honestly, when some women need to stretch and do their thing in front of the bulkhead, it is far more irritating to some, but you would never hear an announcement about that. Only about minyanim….
And about the people not taking their seats. Let’s use someone doing hard work to end an addiction, alcohol for example, which includes hard work of finding triggers and avoiding them. If that person gets on a plane and the passenger next to him opens a bottle at the beginning of the flight, would you be understanding to his sensitivities that he absolutely cannot sit in that seat and must move? There are people who ב”ה have sensitivities to things that חז”ל tell us to stay away from, and they work their whole life on different challenges. For this passenger, having to sit next to, or between 2 women 10 hours, is something that he would do everything in his power on a regular day to avoid this. So now that he’s on plane he needs to drop everything he works on?
I’m not arguing on your feeling of getting inconvenienced by the delays. I’m just explaining a sensitivity, that makes it understandable…


Your son was sympathetic with the Lufthansa Flight crew……
He doesn’t eat kosher so he probably watched through the the many Movies and Tv channels available…. which the Hasidim don’t have available.
So why was he bothered so much?
And maybe that’s why it makes them edgy sitting squished in the long tin can….. and also by being surrounded with people who feel hate towards them


Salman, why are you assuming that Josh’s son eats non kosher It’s fine to disagree with him about his opinions but why make silly irrelevant and possibly untrue comments?


So it’s ok for Josh to assume that a group of people would not have complied with a mask requirement, had it been in place, but it’s not ok for Salman to assume that his son eats non-kosher?


thank you for your diligence and standing up for us all



You spent a lot of time and energy on a pro bono basis investigating this incident. That is very admirable. What is not admirable is that you will continue to post on points and miles deals and credit cards regarding Lufthansa. Unless Lufthansa atones for its behavior you should do nothing that benefits their company.


Thanks R Dan for publicizing this story. i believe you are not done yet. we need to storm up the world more from a personal level that it should be so urgent that the agencies will be motivated to deal with it. we need loud and strong voices for this to really take off ground.
thanks again


Why are the German Police not blamed for their part in enforcing this discrimination? If they were called to site, and they evidence the airline denying boarding on discrimination basis they should have intervened on behalf of the passengers.

Otto Waldmann

There should be NO letdown on legal action(s) against Lfthansa re this grave antisemitic incident.