The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today urged travelers not to fly Lufthansa German Airlines because it discriminates against the Jewish State of Israel and travelers to Israel. According to Lufthansa’s website, Economy Class travelers are permitted one free bag of up to 23 kg. But Lufthansa has a special baggage allowance policy for Economy Class travelers, which allows two bags (each weighing up to 23 kg), free of charge, on several routes including “between the United States, Canada, Mexico and Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.” Conspicuously excluded from this more generous baggage policy is Israel.
In May 2015, ZOA wrote to Lufthansa, calling on the airline to explain its discriminatory baggage policy. The ZOA wrote: We hope that Israel’s omission was merely an oversight and was not done intentionally. If it was intentional, it would clearly constitute anti-Semitism.”
You would hope that they would do some basic research before throwing around the “anti-Semitism” card.
A simple Google search reveals that there are 3 powerhouse middle-eastern airlines, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar, collectively known as the ME3 or the Gulf Three. They are award-winning airlines known for one-upping each other with features like showers, bars, and even private residences onboard served by a Savoy trained butler with a completely secluded private bedroom and shower. Yes, you can use your miles for your own first class “apartment” and shower in the sky.
The ME3 each allow 2 free checked bags for flights from Canada and the US. It’s no surprise that Lufthansa matches that policy for flights to the Middle East. It’s the least they can do to remain competitive for those ME3 dominated destinations.
It’s also no surprise that the ME3 don’t fly to Israel, thus Lufthansa has no competitive need to match their 2 free checked bag policy for flights to Israel.
Another google search would reveal that every major airline on the North America-Israel route (Air Canada, American, Delta, El Al, and United) only allows 1 free checked bag.
But hey, why blame competition for a policy when we can single out a German carrier for anti-Semitism?
Anti-Semitism is a real issue that’s only getting worse, especially in Europe. But this can’t possibly be the right way to attack it.
Now to be fair, the ZOA isn’t the only one to say baseless things like this. The US airlines are embroiled in a fight to restrict the ME3’s ability to fly to the US as they can’t (or don’t want to) compete with the superior service that those airlines provide. Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson practically blamed the ME3 carriers for 9/11 and the subsequent US airline bankruptcies. Not many statements can hurt your cause more than that.