Woman forced to sit in back of plane sues El Al

The Florida woman is seeking NIS 50,000 in compensation for emotional distress and gender discrimination.

An American Jewish woman, Debra Ryder, is demanding NIS 50,000 in compensation from El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) for allegedly switching her seat on a flight from the US, because haredi (ultra-orthodox) men refused to sit next to her. She claims that the flight steward moved her to a seat in the back of the plane, which did not meet her medical needs.

Ryder is seeking the compensation for emotional distress and gender discrimination.

"In his quiet way, the flight steward hinted that they were religious, that they saw me, and that they were not prepared to get up from their seats," Ryder told “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal). "It was clear that the flight steward did not know how to deal with the situation. They didn’t even ask me and I was humiliated. If they had asked, it would have felt different. I never thought I'd have such an experience."

Ryder's attorney, Adv. Orly Erez-Likhovsky of the Israel Religious Action Center, sent a letter to El Al demanding that it set clear instructions to employees on how to act in such cases.

El Al said in response, "El Al flight attendants, who are in the front line of service with passengers, are faced with varied requests, and try to help as much as they can. The passenger's complaint will be examined and dealt with."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 9, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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