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Airline: Passengers kicked off flight for behavior, not for being Jewish

Denying claims of anti-Semitism, EasyJet says group behaved in a ‘disruptive manner’ during trip from Barcelona to Paris

File. An Easyjet Airline flight at Ben Gurion International Airport (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
File. An Easyjet Airline flight at Ben Gurion International Airport (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Dismissing reports that it discriminated against Jewish passengers removed from a flight in Spain, the British airline EasyJet accused the complainants of rowdy behavior that caused a delay.

“Flight EZY3920 from Barcelona to Paris Charles de Gaulle on 1 May 2016 with 180 passengers on board returned to the gate in Barcelona and was met by police due to a group of passengers behaving in a disruptive manner,” EasyJet spokesman Andy Cockburn told JTA on Monday.

His account followed a JTA query for a response from the low-cost airline regarding an article published Thursday by jpupdates.com. The article claimed some passengers aboard the flight felt they had been removed from the plane because they were Jewish. But Cockburn denied the allegation, saying the passengers were taken by police for questioning due to their disruptive behavior.

“All passengers were asked to disembark at the request of the police so they could speak to a small number of passengers in order to investigate the incident,” Cockburn said.

The plane took off after a delay of several hours.

Cockburn said he did not have information on hand as to whether anyone had been indicted, but said the plane could not take off because of the behavior of the detained passengers, as it would have meant violating the company’s security procedures.

EasyJet “does not tolerate abusive or threatening behavior on board,” he said.

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