Ukraine Airlines: There’s No Religious Discrimination As We Treated All Passengers Very Poorly; What Was Your Experience?

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Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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I’ve read several articles on various sites that passengers that flew on Ukraine Airlines yesterday from Tel Aviv to Kiev were singled out if they looked Jewish and were not able to bring any carry-ons onto the plane. Those carry-on bags didn’t reappear as promised in Kiev and passengers connected onto JFK without their carry-ons. Some articles state that the passengers won’t see their luggage again.

I reached out to a travel agent who had a passenger on the flight for a firsthand account. That passenger told me that in fact everyone that had wheeled checked baggage was forced to gate check their bags, even if it fit into the carry-on bag sizer. They were told that this was because there was no space on the plane, but in fact there was an abundance of empty overhead space.

I’ve encountered gate agents on a power trip like this before, though it’s certainly more prevalent on lower cost carriers. This is a good time to remind people that they should always take out their phone and start recording everything whenever they encounter an airline agent doing anything that seems suspect. Without video evidence it will just be a he said, she said story.

It’s also a good time to remind people that if you are forced to gate check a bag, always take out everything of value and carry them with you, including cash, jewelry, electronics, and religious items.

The passenger I spoke to said that he didn’t even get a receipt for his bag, though he did provide his address when he gate checked his bag. He also didn’t receive the assigned seats that he prepaid for, didn’t receive the bassinet he confirmed, didn’t get back his carry-on bags or carseat, and his checked baggage and stroller were broken.

Ouch.

I reached out to Gregory Truman, the UIA (Ukraine International Airlines) General Manager for North America for their side of the story and here is what he told me,

“I am waiting for an official statement from the head office…But, here is a summary of what happened…

Yesterday in TLV, the ground handlers did not use the correct UIA bag labels when tagging bags that were loaded from the plane into the storage area with other checked bags under the plane. There was a miscommunication between the airport staff in TLV and KBP, as the ground handlers in KBP, did not get the correct information for names and final destinations that these bags were to be transferred and unfortunately, they were left in KBP.

I have spoken with head office and they understand what happened, and will not allow this to occur again.

So, yes, passengers with oversized or overweight baggage had to gate check these bags. They should have received an official UIA tag to insure proper handling. They did not and the bags were mishandled. That compounded the situation as passenger are required to pay for checked bags even when done at the gate.

Hope this provides an adequate summary. If you have additional questions, please let me know.

I know that many Jewish travelers feel like they were singled out. I can assure that we treated all of our passengers the same yesterday – very poorly 🙁

The bags are being processed. And as soon as is possible. I do not have specifics for each passenger other than it is being worked on. I believe every passenger filled out paperwork describing their luggage and providing a delivery address.

So there you have it. The agent in Tel Aviv clearly told her superiors that the bags in question were all oversized, though that’s likely suspect. It was probably just easier on them to force everything with wheels to be gate checked. Overall this seems like typical poor customer service as one would expect from an airline like Spirit when you are trying to save a few shekels. In the end of the day you get what you pay for.

Officially Ukraine Air allows for 2 free carry-ons and 2 free checked bags when you buy a longhaul flight. Your first carry-on can weigh 15.4 pounds and have dimensions of 15.75″ x 21.66″ x 7.87.” Your second carry-on can weigh 11 pounds and have dimensions of 21.65″ x 11.8″ x 3.94.” A hat in a case and tefilin in a case are officially allowed in addition to those 2 free carry-ons, though of course that depends on the agent knowing that rule. You can refer them to this to look it up in their systems. Then again when you have a gate agent on a power trip there is no much you can do, other than ask to speak to the station manager.

Hopefully Ukraine Airlines will be able to reunite everyone with their carry-ons eventually. In the meantime you can check to see if the credit card that you bought the flight with has any protections.

For example a Chase Sapphire Preferred or a Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with:

Were you on this flight or have you had problems with Ukraine Air’s carry-on policies? Hit the comments!

HT: chff


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144 Comments On "Ukraine Airlines: There’s No Religious Discrimination As We Treated All Passengers Very Poorly; What Was Your Experience?"

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Paron

Which other airlines allow a hat and teffilin in addition to the regular carry on?

Motti

Please don’t carry your teffilin separately from your carry on. Almost all teffilin lost are because of keeping them separately. Keep it inside your carry on.

NF

Delta!

David

Fly crappy airlines, win crappy prizes

Joe Kay

I have had it more than once on United and American that they made me check my carry on due to lack of overhead space and there was in fact plenty of empty overhead space available..

ben

I was on KBP-JFK portion of the flight yesterday, we had no issues with our multiple wheeled carry-ons. The flight was delayed a bit once boarded, the pilot made an announcement about delay due to luggage handling.

Opinion

Doesn’t the Citi Prestige card also provide baggage delay insurance?

Samiam

I flew them on the cheap tickets nyc-tlv (around 330 a ricket) I had a very nice experience and was treated well. They made me pay more because i didnt precheck-in and even when I tried online it did not work. I did see an agent making some bochurim crazy about their wheeled carry on but bh they didnt bother me.

Anonymous

Had a similar situation on Norwegian from TLV to EWR- stopover in Rome. They found the bags in Rome after 5 days. Still fighting for baggage delay reimbursement from Chase because the airline won’t provide delivery documentation, and the 3rd party website that the flight was booked via won’t provide a receipt with the cc # on it… doubt I’ll ever see anything from Chase…

chff

Chase claims dept is not easy to deal with

Shneur

Check your email some mark it

SB

I have flown on Ukraine Airlines before and experienced overt anti Semitic actions. They have horrible customer service as well so it’s hard to tell the difference.

yed

Will DOT step in in this case?
Had such even worse issue with them where they asked us to pay some $120 in order to check-in our hand bag at the gate in KBP (after coming from TLV with it) although it fit in to their measuring basket and we only had one handbag for the 2 of us!, we had no choice but to leave the bag behind (of course emptied it out first). Have taken Pictures of the bag in the sizing basket etc.
just wondering if the D.O.T would step in here? (destination was JFK)

Sam

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Kevin

When my Primary students are missing something from their desk they immediately rush to me to say “someone stole my _____________”

On a more serious note. I know the history of Jews in the Ukraine, but It would seem odd to have an extremely anti semetic gate agent based in Tel Aviv.

BC

Dan, As a rule, all wheeled bags are oversize when you measure with the wheels. There Might be exceptions but they are very rare. I personally fume when passengers have to put their wheeled bags in the wrong way to make it fit while wasting space.
My assumption was that the aircraft was overweight or they were limited to a shorter runway which needed limited weight.

Mike

How does checking in baggage make it weigh less?

Joe

Feb 22 Upon arrival home from TLV-KBP-JFK we waited 2 hours in JFK to receive out checked bag only to find out that a large quantity of fright boxes was stocked up on plane instead of our suitcase’s and that it was left in KBP, finally after 4 days we received it ripped apart, we filed a claim, after 6 weeks we get a response your claim has been denied.

ren

My mother flew UIA to TLV in February. They singled out everyone from that flight go through an extra layer of security. Later on an agent told them it was because their unhappy with the way Israel treats Ukrainians.

Harabi MiUto

If they “singled out everyone” then they singled out no one.

Yitz

I think he’s referring to that flight, as opposed to other flights.

weiss

in the last year israel dont treat the ukrainians so good

Michael

Why would the DOT allow them to land at JFK or anywhere in the United States after so many complaints?

Kevin

Do you have a source for the number of complaints? Typically FAA and DOT are more concerned about safety than mishandled bags by carriers.

YM

There was an issue over a carry on item. But I don’t think it had anything to
do with discrimination and I received all our luggage on schedule. Overall my family’s flight on Ukraine Air, from the US to Kiev to Tel Aviv was fine. Also, when our return flight was canceled, we were satisfied with the compensation that they gave us.

Jack out of the Box

You probably didn’t know the Israeli laws about compensation so the airline probably got away cheap by making you an alternative offer.

Shalom

I flew with them a few times this year
It’s true they can be a pain with the weight of the carry on or the dimensions

I knew about this after my first flight with them so the next time I did everything according to their rules and my flight from TLV to JFK and back was absolutely great

You get two free suitcases to check in, that’s amazing now a days and the ticket was really cheap

Yes they can cause issues with the carry on luggage so just know the rules beforehand and you will have a great flight

In my opinion

Harry

TRhis sums it all up “so just know the rules beforehand and you will have a great flight”. Samer could be said about Rubashkin’s abortive attempt to enter the UK “so just know the rules beforehand, abide by them and you will gain entry without a problem”

Hvaces42

Only time I ever flew with them it was BYOL… scariest flight from Kiev to Vienna I have ever taken. Everyone was drunk.

Yisrael Baumann

I flew on those cheap tickets as well and had absolutely no problem flight was very good. I followed all instructions beforehand everything worked seamlessly

Shimon Klagsbrun

I took a flight KBP to TLV and the agent at the gate was very rude and kept on screaming that I won’t be able to board until I check in my carry on although it perfectly fit in their frame at the gate. I insisted that she should call her manager to explain why I have to check in and after 10 minutes she gave in and let me thru. I only took a picture but not a video.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/AAPYKiMxPVnhJAN1A

JP

never experienced anything like this on spirit

BL

Flew PS back in February. Lots of frum yidden on my flights. Staff was courteous and professional. No major issues at either KBP or TLV. Did see some folks have to pay for boarding passes at check-in, and for luggage that didn’t fit. It didn’t appear that they were targeting frum people. That said, one of our checked bags did not make it to JFK. We filed a claim with the airline and luggage showed up at my doorstep 3 or 4 days later. What’s wild is that per UIA’s website, luggage is only considered delayed if it’s not delivered with 3 weeks of a flight. Totally insane. Did file with a claim with Chase and got $$ from them. But took a while.

Jay

I was not charged for my carry-on for JFK to KBP. I was charged $89.44 for my carry-on for KBP to TLV. I was not allowed on the airplane without payment (even though the carry-on was included in the ticket price.

I called UIA and they said I have to file a complaint by e-mail. I did so. A week later I called again (after not receiving a response) and was told that “investigations” such as this, take 3 to 6 months. My credit card company said that since the carry-on was delivered, my beef is with the airlines.

I will never fly with them again. Was it worth $89.44 to lose a customer?

Chaim

Consider purchasing a Luggage Tracker (GPS). May increase your chances of locating lost luggage

qsman

I’m sorry but when you fly an airline that is the flag carrier of one of the most historically anti semetic countries to ever exist, who’s citizens enthusiastically murdered Jewish citizens during the Holocaust; the host of horrific pogroms, who to date has not passed ANY laws regarding the restitution of confiscated property of 1.5 million Jews, good luck with your interactions with them.

Just my observation.

chff

The parent company of UIA is Jewish owned…..
Just my observation

qsman

As of 22 June 2016, the ownership structure is registered as the following: 74.1627% Capital Investment Project, Ukraine and 15.9108% Ontobet Promotions Ltd, Cyprus.[14]

Which one is Jewish owned?

hino

Both

qsman

https://www.icu.ua/en/about-icu/team
Who?

And a Jewish owned airline is doing nothing about this crap antisemetic service????????? Really????

qsman

Ah then the only way to resolve this issue is to take the owners to a din torah….:P

Motti

Unrelated to the owners, he referred to the employees, mostly ukrainians, an anti semitic country, etc.

maldru

You didn’t mention that 75% of this anti-Semitic nation voted for a Jewish president. (I grew up there – and they always hated us -so why did they vote for Zelenski?????!)

yy

Ukraine is the only country other than Israel with a Jewish president and a Jewish prime minister.

flyer

hi dan
i just bought this ticket when u had this deal and flying alone with a new born should i cancel my ticket based on all whats going on with them [flying in 2 weeks or by then it will all be sorted out]
thanx

abe

My daughter was on this flight and her hand luggage was definitely not oversized in fact they didn’t even check if it’s oversized as she explained the last 30 to 50 people they asked everybody to hand them over the luggage she and others where trying to take out her jewelry and cell phone other valuables from her hand back they did not allow it she saw a 50 year old man backing them that he wants to take out his $2,000 sleep apnea kit they said sorry man you can’t do that now others were crying I have my tefilin there they all got the same answer

Mr. CC

I flew with them awhile ago, there are making an issue for all the religious passengers with any size hand bag in JFK. (I overheard one of them telling the other “all I want is their money”)

abe

The worst part of all was when my daughter got the Kiev she showed her green sticker on my boarding pass to a gate agent and she asked for her back so they told her that never seen such as sticker they don’t know what it is when we got to JFK he told us the same thing that never seen such stickers the tag number usually has six digits of this was only five someone even suggested this was a scam to take away the carry-ons in Kiev now she’s even the worst scenario because she lost her boarding pass with the sticker on it so she can’t even proof she can’t get compensation from the airline or the insurance

Chevi

I flew Ukranian on a previously posted deal. The plane that flies between Ukraine and Tel Aviv is tiny, with tiny overhead bins. I had a normal size duffel that fit into their carry on checker, but could barely squeeze it into the overhead bins. They really are tiny and I was grateful that I hadn’t brought something bigger. I had a good experience on that trip, but I heard that there were several Israelis detained at the Ukraine airport in February and an MK had to pull strings to get them released, so I won’t be flying with them again no matter how good the deal is.

David

Avoid this airline at all cost.
Missed a 50 minutes connection because security queue. Had to buy a new ticket

yy

You booked a flight with a 50 minute connection?

CtownBin

Can you explain a bit further? I have never heard of an airline forcing you to buy a new ticket when you missed a connection through no fault on your own, instead of them just putting you on the next flight (as long as it was one connecting ticket, of course). This would be a HUGE reason to avoid these guys on these short connections. Can you explain a bit more what happened?

Kevin

I wonder if the gate agents get some sort of incentive to charge for bags at the gate. A commission, so to speak. It would make sense why one commented about wanting their money, their arbitrary rules, weird green stickets, etc.

Bob

The gate agent was in a bad mood from returning a rental car and getting charged $250 for a scratch that was already there.

Aryeh

That’s fair lol

Nachman

ימ”ש stole my suitcases

abe

My daughter was also on this flight she doesn’t have her hand luggage she also tells me that on the way going on the 19th to Kiev there was no AC on the plane one person fainted they have to actually take him all the flight there was no air on the plane people were yelling and screaming gets hot flight attendant said I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do about it you’ll have to wait it out until we get there

Me

My brother had and story a few years ago.. NYC – TLV with UIA. when they did the same thing , they tooknow the carry on and his wife forgot that she had some of her Wedding jewelry in the carry on. When they got back the carry on the jewelry was missing. They tried calling a few times and spoke to a wall.
Be careful with these airlines!

Ephr

yes! i agree with that headline my experience with them is that you pay cheap and get what you paid for, we really learned the hard way, being shoved by a stewardess then my wife and i given boarding passes on 2 sides of the plane, while being told that when we get on the plane they will change the seats , which they then refused so YES THEY TREAT ALL PASSENGERS POORLY!

JUDY ROSENFELD

I just flew Aeroflot for Pessach from JFK to TLV. The flight was packed and one of my rollies was too big so I had to give it in. I took everything of value out and put it into the smaller carry on. I was treated very fairly though and got my assigned seats

Lazer m

I spoke to someone on that flight he told me that he took a video and the people that work by the desk came over to him or u delete it or u dont go onto the plane.

STILL A SCAM!!!!.

That’s crazy .
On the iPhone , deleted vids go to a recycle bin…..

Jack

I have flown at least 50 segments and have never had an issue with carry on luggage. I have never experienced any antisemitism either but that just may be because of my friendly demeanor & Kiddush Hashem attitude.

UIA lacks in many areas and I am surprised that it is still afloat (even with Aron Mayberg being heavily involved – He is the founder of Aerosvit which ended up going bankrupt)

Even though UIA is mostly owned & operated by Jews like Kolomoyski (via offshore firms & private companies), we can’t expect the staff to be friendly to Jews when Ukrainians (i.e. most airline employees) are generally viewed as being more antisemitic.

Perhaps Zelensky (Kolomoiskys puppet?) will rescue it from going bankrupt.

Homer

Sorry to all who had lost/delayed baggage. Regarding Baggage delay coverage on travel insurance policies, read the fine print. Some such as AIG Travel Guard do not honor baggage delay payout if it is the return flight, only on the outbound.

Orrin Davis

When WOW Airlines began to give me tge run around, I took out my cell phone and took a photo of the gate agent, who refused to give me even her first name.

She called airport security, who were very polite but firm.

Taking photos in an airport may not be welcome.

GoCle

I flew UIA for Pesach. Terribly antisemitic and horrible airline. In Kiev, they measured all of the passengers’ approved carryons and charged people even when the bags for. They pulled my family aside and I thought it was to help us out because we had little kids but it was only to screen our bags again and take out our liquids that were approved in Israel and we had on the plane for our kids. In the airport, they made us walk down three flights of stairs with our luggage and strollers to get to the tarmac because there was no elevator and told us they do not have to help us. They were screaming at Jews and picking us out of lines to cause trouble.

shifra

The Ukraine Airlines website says the following–
Passengers who have bought tickets paying hand baggage only fare can take one piece of hand baggage weighing up to 7 kg and with size of no more than 55x40x20 cm on board the aircraft as well as overclothes and umbrellas.

Passengers who have purchased tickets with checked baggage included as well as Premium Economy Class passengers on long-haul flights are allowed to take two hand baggage pieces onboard: one 7kg/55х40х20 bag and one 5 kg/40х30х10 cm bag as well as overclothes and umbrellas

A wheeled carry-on easily weighs 7 or 8 pounds. That does not leave much extra weight allowance for what goes inside.

It is a problem I often encounter on interEuropean airlines. Your standard North American carry-on is way overweight for this type of flight.

It is quite likely that the frum peoples’ baggage weighed more than the allowance, which is very meager, and that is why it was taken.

Rules are rules. Some gate attendants will bend the rules and some will not.

You take your chances when you are not in compliance.

This is why I upgrade my ticket when I am flying on a flight with a 7 kg. limit. It is just not worth the aggravation.

Chuchum Ainer

Did you, like, read the article?
Bags weren’t overweight. All wheeled bags were checked. And then lost.
Remind me which rules this story is “in compliance” with?

shifra

Almost all wheeled bags with contents will be over 15 pounds.
Therefore all wheeled bags were checked.
A North American flight allows 22 pounds, which is a huge difference.
If you want to get on a flight like this with hand baggage, you need to take something without wheels.
Did you, like, read what I wrote?

Jay

My bag was under 15 lbs and I was charged

shifra

Just out of curiosity, Jay, was it a wheeled bag?
And, was it the only piece of carry-on luggage you had?
My canvas, extremely light carry-on with wheels weighs six and a half pounds. Every hard sided wheeled case I have weighed has been at least eight pounds. My cameras, chargers, computer and allowable toiletries–forget about clothing for a day–tip me over the fifteen pounds.
I am very, very conscious that the carry-on rules for interEuropean flights are considerably less than those of the transAtlantic allowable weights after I got caught trying to take the carryon I had brought from Canada to Rome on to a short fight from Rome to Naples to meet my tour group. My problem was compounded because I had been allowed two carry-on pieces on the incoming Air Canada flight– a purse and a small wheeled suitcase–and, to my shock, the interEuropean flight only allowed one.
As I was alone and almost missed my connection, the alternative to leaving the suitcase behind and losing everything and paying to load it aboard under the plane was not a happy occasion, but a relief, in the end.
As a result, I read the allowances very, very carefully.
And try to take nonstops and not connecting flights with legs on small carriers in Europe whenever I can.
When I have to take a shorter flight, I am happy to be given the option of paying extra if my suitcase is overweight. Some small airlines will not let an overweight suitcase, even by a little, be loaded aboard.

Jay

Lightweight, wheeled and under 15 lbs. It was my only carry-on.

Harry

And Shifra you forgot to quote the unwritten rule, smile sweetly and be polite. Forget the asher bachar banu bit, don’t realistically imagine that the cheapest economy ticket entitles you to the same consideration as a business class or regular flyer and read the regulations very carefully. A full size carry on even half filled is almost certain to weigh more than 7kg. Size is only one of the parameters that have to be met. The fact that the bag fits into the sizer doesn’t mean it is at or below the maximum weight. I have flown UIA many times and never had a problem, but then I have never taken oversize or overweight check in or carry on luggage.

Ukrainian stinks

I recently flew from TLV to JFK, and had a return ticket for after pesach. The connection was supposed to be 40 min. But then I got an email saying that my flight was delayed and my connection was now 5 minutes. After endless phone calls and many many hours spent trying to get in touch with the airline, they promised me either an exchange flight or a refund. But I tried to follow up on the refund process I was told that the flight cannot be refunded so I was stuck with the other half of the ticket that went unused. Even though it was entirely their fault. In addition upon arriving at JFK I noticed that the bottom wheel of my check in suitcase was damaged severely to the point where it could not even be wheeled. When I brought this to the attention of the damage claims clerk she said that since the wheel was still attached I could not get any reimbursement notwithstanding the fact that the suitcase is practically useless and cannot even stand straight, if you try to stand up straight it will just topple over.

sam

with baggage delay you buy the stuff on your credit card and then call up chase to have it applied reotroactively?

Yankel

Just to clarify.
You can’t just dispute the credit card charges. ?

Shimy

you can and with Amex you will almost always win

Jay

Chase will not let you dispute the charges if the charge was for a carry-on and the carry-on was delivered (even though the carry-on was included in the ticket price).

Jason

Why are you knocking Spirit Airlines at the end of this article? Spirit has greatly improved its customer service and it now has one of the best on-time performance in the industry. I fly Spirit all the time out of its FLL hub and it is a great value. Check in staff and Flight attendants are nice and courteous and the experience is on par with every other economy cabin flight. Their customer service reps are excellent and helpful. What pray tell does the horrible experience at Ukraine Airlines have to do with excellent low-cost carriers like Spirit?

Jason Smith

I agree 100%, it is really unfair for Dan to continually knock on Spirit when every complaint about spirit that Dan has I have had happen to me on JetBlue, and only worse. And the DOT numbers back up that JetBlue is way worse than Spirit with the worst on time numbers of almost every US airline and the most cancellations.

Loads of stopover experience

I flew UIA this winter JFK-TLV via KBP. Upon arriving at check-in i was astonished to find a sub-par check-in area tucked away in some airless corner with coarse agents. The chaos was worse than standard TLV erev yomtov balagan. As soon as i got to the counter they started making issues with my carry-on bag, a standard samsonite spinner weighing in at less than 20 lbs which Ive traveled with all over the world. I removed most of the items to get it below the weight, but she warned me that even though she would let it go they would give me issues in KBP. As a side note they charge about $20 if you didnt check in online and print out your boarding pass at home. I had checked in online but the system was not allowing it to process so she waved the fee. And She, was the last semi-friendly agent i dealt with on all 4 segments. For the KBP-TLV segment there were many other Jews (mostly israelis) who were in tears as the gate agents were harassing them about their carry-on luggage, many forced to spend ridiculous amounts to let their bags through. On my way back, I had bought some duty-free and had it in a separate bag. The gate agents said it was not possible to take “additional” bags, so i attempted to pack it in my carry on but they wouldnt let me as it would be overweight. After 20 minutes of arguing with several agents and supervisors i wasnt getting anywhere, so I waited by the gate till final boarding call, at which point they tried to extort me again, after sticking my ground they finally let me board. I saw the look of despair and loathing on their face, and I suspect they try to extort you for some undocumented pocket cash (they wanted cash).
The lesson I learned was that they are actually a spirit like budget airline with sub-par service who nickel and dime you at every available opportunity (even if they have to make stuff up) masquerading as a premium international airline. Since I payed less than $500 I was ok with absorbing a “you get what you pay for lesson” but i resolved to not fly them for more than 500, at that price the discomfort is the cost of the significant discount which ill take. However, BUYER BEWARE! DO NOT BRING A ROLLING WHEELED SUITCASE AS A CARRY-ON! check 2 bags if you need to, but the most they will allow on board without issue is a light napsack and thin attache/laptop case.
Overall would have to say UIA would rate lowest in all categories compared with all the other European carriers that offer stopover flights from JFK/EWR- TLV.
Hope that was helpful. Good Luck!

BA did this too!!!

British Airways to israel right after peisach this year, it was only the frum passngers were being forced to board the plane nearly empty handed!!
I have BA silver they didn’t care, they allowed my wife myself and two children under 3 all with PAID seats board the plane with 1 carryon bag (this was for OFUR PAID SEATS) in the end of course all four carryons would have fit in!!! there was ton’s of space, I complained to death ears!

Jack out of the Box

I recently flew with my family of seven on Alitalia TLV-FCO-JFK and back. We all had paid seats. For my toddler we brought along an FAA approved car seat which (in addition to the obvious safety factor) would help her sleep comfortably on the plane.

We ended having to play lots of tricks to actually get that PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE seat onto each of the 4 flights. I don’t remember the details of each flight. Leaving TLV the check-in agent told us that we absolutely may not bring the seat on board and we must drop it off at the counter for odd-shaped luggage. We walked right past that counter and carried the seat all the way to the gate. We were dismayed to see that the agent from check-in was working at the gate as well. We had to very carefully hide the seat behind our bodies as we slipped past the gate.

On another flight, the flight staff kept on checking with one another whether the seat may possibly be prohibited. We immediately just set the seat in place by the window and sat my daughter down for the trip. At least one flight attendant was intent on banishing it and kept on investigating the matter at least until we started moving.

I will point out, though, that aside from the issue of the car seat we were very satisfied with the Alitalia trip.

Jack out of the Box

The ground staff in TLV is typically local employees of one of the 3 ground handling companies. Was this flight different?

Maurice

I can only confirm that their ground staff is very rude. I flew recently Kiev-TLV and at the gate they checked the hand luggage of a group of Jewish teen-agers, and they were asked to pay for overweight hand luggage … some of them were in tears … other passengers were not checked … you may guess why ….

chaim blau

this not a normal story

lazertek

i flew tlv-kbp-krk roundtrip and both ways by kbp check in they stopped almost all the Jews on the flight and told them that their carry on is to big even know it fit perfectly in the box so i ended up helping them passing it to the people that already passed the obnoxious gate agents so they should be able to take it on the plane.
#banUIA#antisemites

What\'s good for the goose, is good for the Gander

I flew UIA with my family from Israel to Usa and they lost a bag.
As UIA had no office in JFK we could only file the Lost Bag claim with the general Lost Bag office.
Turns out this wasn’t enough for Sapphire Reserve and they didn’t cover the loss.

They insisted that I have a report filed with the airline itself.

Avrum

@dan the the story didn’t happen only on the 27th, my brother-in-law traveled with them yesterday on the 28th from JFK to TLV with a stopover in Kiev, he was with another two buchrim, he says in Kiev they told ONLY the buchrim that they have to give their suitcases in, my brother-in-law was smart, he took out a shopping bag and stuffed everything inside, then they gave him a sticker with a “tracking number” and told him to give it over to the agents that take the strollers, once he was in the sleeve he just ripped off the green sticker (don’t know if it was green, but that tracking number stivket) and put his shopping bag back inside and just walked onto the plane with his suitcase, he said the other buchrim weren’t so lucky and they gave it in and never saw their suitcases again (but they also emptied their suitcases beforehand). BTW my brother-in-law didn’t have a wheeler suitcase.

Green

2 weeks ago on Sunday, I have treveled KPB to JFK and before boarding they have do the same checked all luggage into the box, we were a group of 18 chsidim and we have observed that they have let go all other passengers, and when it have our line they start to be very tuff and a few of us have paid $110 for hand luggage.

nat h

they ransack the luggage and steal valuables all the time. this is nothing new. you can’t change a leopards spots

J

I flew once from TLV to GVA through KBP. They made many passengers check in our carry-ons, only giving us a paper tag with a number to re-claim. They gave back most carry-ons right after deplaning in KBP, but not mine and my brothers. They said that they have no clue where it is or why it was not put with the other gate checked bags. The flight attendant told me to ask at the next gate to find out if they got on the flight. The next gate said that it’s not their responsibility and that our bags are at baggage claim. But if we would go and get them, we will miss our next flight and forfeit our next ticket with no reimbursement. We talked to a main coordinator in Kiev, and then after a few phone calls, she claimed that she did not work for the airline, it’s not her responsibility, and that if we wait any longer, we are forfeiting our tickets. No one cared about us there. We did our best to remain calm and talk nicely but they didn’t care. They all just played the blame game. Eventually, in Switzerland, they got us our stuff a day late, but i had to wake up at 2 in the morning to meet the guy bringing us our bag. No reimbursement. Ukrainian Air is a terrible, mean, and definitely not a Jewish friendly airline. They may have good prices but definitely not worth the hassle. Also keep in mind that almost no-one in Kiev speaks a good English.
We Had to buy new clothes for skiing with no reimbursement.
STAY AWAY FROM UKRAINIAN AIR!

Asi

Here is the solution to the problem. Do not even consider flying with this this or other cheap airliners. You get what you pay for especial flying to Israel. Put you safety and well being first before saving a few dollars.

eva

I traveled with hand luggage only from tel aviv to kiev in the winter. we each had a hand luggage and a hand bag and at the door of the plane they refused to let us board unless we paid for the hand luggage $70? $80? dollars. a piece and they forced us to put them in the hold. Non of our items were over sized or overweight they simply went after our group it was very obvious that they were targeting us for our religious look. On our return trip the men took their tefillin seperatly for fear of them taking it away again, so they charged each man $10?/$20? for taking them as a seperate item

Harry

Sometimes security at Ben Gurion holds bags for no apparent reason. The airline cannot hold the flight for a few bags but the airline gets the blame when the baggage is not loaded.

Bochir

On the yeshiva bpchur flight to Israel for this zman after pesach, they singled out all bochurim in ukreine and forced them to pay 100 bucks for their carry ons. Saying they were to large. We all fraudued the charge afterwards but we are never taking ukreine again

Michael

Dan: are you able to share Gregory Truman contact info? TIA

UIA NEVER AGAIN!!!!

my flight on may 6 2019
my flight was JFK to TLV with a stop in KBP
when i landed in kyiv for my stopover.
as i boarding the connecting flight the agent at the gate told me my carry on bag was too large and i needed to pay 80euro to board with it, now my problem was that they did measure my bag and weight it in New York before i left and they said it was fine but now only in middle of my flight did they say something.
the next problem is that they only only were accepting mastercard and visa but i had cash but they refused to take it, after much begging i was still not allowed on the plane and the agent was screaming and embarrassing me in front of many people that i needed to hurry up before the plane left. so not wanting to miss my flight i took the important things out of my bag and left the rest at the gate with no hope of getting it back

this is the worst airline and i will try to never fly again

UIA NEVER AGAIN!!!!

will A DOT complaint help for these cases?

Marvin Pollack

I am scheduled to travel to Tel Aviv through Vienna with Austrian Air.
Do I need to be worried about these horror stories?

Yossi Teleshevsky

Just saying i flew Ukrainian airlines and when they made me problems i took out my phone to video and they made me put it away saying your not allowed to video here

Tanya

Dan – please ask the UIA general manager to read the reviews on trip advisor. Multiple horrid reviews from travelers not only on the TLV JFK route. Something needs to be done about the check-in crew in Kiev as many many people are charged for carry-ons which were deemed fine on the other leg of their trip. The airline also charges for printing out boarding passes. They are losing many customers over their abysmal customer service and for charging customers unreasonably. I have tickets on UIA for the end of the summer and am tempted to cancel. The gm should be made aware of what his passengers are saying. Over 1400 1 or 2-star reviews!

shifra

“many people are charged for carry-ons which were deemed fine on the other leg of their trip.”
I just have to respond to this, even though I have written a response further down, because it keeps coming up.
It is very, very important to realize that most transatlantic flights have a SIZE restriction, but not a WEIGHT restriction on carryon bags.
Air Canada used to allow 22 pounds and now allows as much as you can cram in as long as the suitcase fits the sizer (which keeps shrinking) and you can lift the carry-on into the bin overhead yourself.
This is way, way more than the puny 7 kg (barely fifteen pounds) that this airline allows.
I was once on an interEuropean flight where the limit was twelve pounds.
With a hard sided carry-on with wheels weighing about eight pounds, there is almost nothing you can put in before it is over fifteen pounds.
This is not just Ukrainian airlines. It is the case with most small carriers in Europe.
Forewarned is forearmed.

Tanya

Shifra
The same airline (UIA) allowed the carry-on bags at the origin airport and then charged people to board the second leg for the exact same bags. That is not a matter of not being aware of their size and weight restrictions. Something fishy is going on in kiev and kiev alone with UIA. Read the 1400 negative reviews on tripadvisor, most of which were not posted by frum people flying to and from tel aviv.

NF

My niece (47 year old) and her husband were taken off the plane “for security reasons”. They were forced to go through security again and almost missed the flight! In fact the door was closed, but BeChasdai H-Shem someone opened the door for them! Tell me that’s not Antisemitism?
For me? I fly Delta and am treated very well.

aw

I flew Ukranian to Kiev. They required many of us to check if our carryon luggage fit into the metal measuring box. Almost all of them did fit easily. Yet they said that fitting in does not mean they are not oversized and they would not let people board unless they paid close 170 EU’s for the luggage. Some people just out the stuff and left their bag as it was worth less than 170EU

RA

My couple booked a flight on Aeroflot. Their luggage was overweight. Aeroflot’s representatives were really unhelpful. In addition to that, they only let us take 1 personal item. We wanted to pay overweight but they had “closed” their computer system for that already. They told us that they were going to escort us to TSA to make sure that we don’t recombine anything into our suitcases. They threatened to take away our passports and boarding passes. While on line waiting to get onto the TSA line, an Aeroflot representative told the lady at the TSA not to let us on. They summoned us back to check in where they told us that they won’t let us fly this flight anymore. They told us that they were going to hold up the plane to get back our luggage. We wanted to dispute the charge of the ticket but we had to discuss it with the credit card company according to Aeroflot. The credit card company told us to talk to Aeroflot. No one wanted to be the middle way and dispute the charge. After calling everyone possible, a company told us that we were registered into the system as if we never arrived. We went over to the desk to discuss the matter with them. The lady there told us that the suitcases weren’t either in the system and they had no way of tracking it down. So, after sitting and waiting for our suitcases for 3 hours, we got nothing. We dialed 911 to put in our complaint. They told to go over to the desk and ask to speak to a manager. As we neared the desk, we saw Aeroflot’s representatives pulling off the tags of our suitcases so that we should have no evidence that we were in the airport. We asked them to give it to us but they ignored. We pulled it away from them and they threatened to call the cops on us. We were fine with that since we had every right in the world to take back our suitcases. the man there yelled at us to take the suitcases and get out of there now! We then booked Turkish Air and were extremely satisfied with their service! The people at Aeroflot’s desks are Russian Anti-Semites! Now choose if you want to fly cheap with them.

Julio

Want to avoid hassle or mental anguish? Simply don’t fly these airlines from misbehaving countries. I don’t care how cheap the price. Just not worth the aggravation.

Sharonah

Yep! I flew back in May to Germany from TLV. My return flight was booked with Ukraine airlines with a stop and change planes in Kiev. Boarded in Germany just fine, but when we got to Kiev to change planes for the continuation of the flight, we reached the gate and immediately started getting warned by fellow passengers to check our carry ons carefully, as they were literally holding passengers hostage for whatever they could find. That being that the carry on suitcases little extra extendable zipper had to be fully zipped if it even had one of those zippers it could disqualify it from fitting in the box. So I had the same experience as the guy in the video. My extendable zipper had actually broke and wouldn’t budge, so it wasn’t quite pushed in all the way, by a centimetre. The attendant acted just like this one in the video and said that if I wanted to bring it on board then I needed to pay 80 Euros to bring it on board. Credit card only and she had her little reader right there to process it. No choice but to pay her! And guess what! I just carried it right on board with no problem and it fit with no problem and was no bigger than anyone else’s carry on. If the extra centimetre of space was the problem then why did they let me carry it on anyway after I paid? They were doing it to everyone. And I understood right there that it was exactly the reasons someone else here had mentioned. Payback, for the new laws on immigration of Ukrainians coming in to Israel. Yes it’s true Israel has not been so nice to Ukranians flying in. So I guess as they say “Pay back is a bitch!”

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