JTA — Frontier Airlines is facing accusations of anti-Semitism after videos circulated online of the airline kicking a Hasidic family off a plane because of violations over its mask requirements.
The family claims that its members were properly masked on the Sunday night flight from Miami to New York City, except for an 18-month-old baby, according to videos posted by OJPAC, an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group. Others who said they were on the flight recalled watching some people high-five after the family left the plane.
The airline says the baby was not the issue that prompted the eviction, and that adults in the group that was removed from the plane were not wearing masks.
The Anti-Defamation League’s New York-New Jersey office called for a “full & transparent investigation” of the incident.
Although what caused the eviction is unclear, videos posted by OJPAC show several Hasidic Jews standing in the aisle, all wearing masks. Multiple people say in the videos that the only unmasked passenger is the baby. In one video, a Hasidic woman says that kids briefly took off their masks to have a snack.
Disturbing incident the last hour on a @FlyFrontier flight as staff told a Hasidic couple to get off because their 18 month old had no mask. Applause is heard as the couple started leaving. Travels say on camera that the applause came from staff who also cheered that “we did it.” pic.twitter.com/rA2JQmI1tU
— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021
In another video posted by OJPAC, people said the airline staff high-fived after deplaning the family.
“I saw them high-fiving each other, and high-fiving and saying ‘A job well done to those Jews,’” one man said.
Frontier wrote on Twitter that the family did not comply with instructions from flight attendants.
“Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA,” the airline tweeted. “Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.”
Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA. Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.
— Frontier Airlines (@FlyFrontier) March 1, 2021
A passenger told Hamodia, a Haredi Orthodox publication, that 15 police officers responded to the incident. According to Hamodia, the flight was canceled eventually due to the incident.