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Brazil - Lufthansa Airlines Ordered To Pay Jewish Passenger After Failing To Provide Kosher Food Aboard Flight

Published on: March 30, 2016 05:00 PM
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FILE - Planes of Lufthansa airline stand on tarmac in Frankfurt airport, Germany, March 17, 2016.   REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachFILE - Planes of Lufthansa airline stand on tarmac in Frankfurt airport, Germany, March 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Brazil - The São Paulo Court of Justice has awarded $1,400 to Isaac Kopfler, a Brazilian Jew traveling aboard Lufthansa Airlines from Zurich to São Paolo, after the German airline failed to provide kosher food for their passenger despite his request for it at the time he purchased his ticket. The incident occurred on March 21, 2012.

Exame News reports (http://abr.ai/1PG0Qbp) that the Court found the airline was guilty of “moral damage” to its customer as Mr. Kopfler was forced to go without any food for the duration of the 14- hour flight. Only non-kosher food was available. “Kosher food is of paramount importance and is founded on religious precepts. The passenger remained throughout the intercontinental flight without any food,” the Magistrate wrote in the Court’s decision. The Court’s award is less than Mr. Kopfler’s original demand of $5,000.

Following the decision, Lufthansa apologized to the customer, and explained that the customer was actually flying aboard SwissAir, a division of Lufthansa, and said that the problem Mr. Kopfler encountered is “uncommon.” The airline added that the issue occurred because the kosher meal was not loaded along with the rest of the meals prepared by the catering service. Lufthansa reportedly also offered Mr. Kopfler bonus miles as compensation for his inconvenience.


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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:11 PM honestbroker Says:

Another one of our's looking for a big easy payday. Anybody still surprised at the existence of Jewish stereotypes or antisemitsm??

2

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:12 PM Yossi Says:

Every jew knows that you can NOT rely on Kosher food to be on board when you travel. Every decent jew takes along food for his journey and this was probably a greedy passenger who just wanted reimbursement for his flight.
I flew many times and did not get my food ordered so I took a sandwich which I took along. Airlines rely on caterers to supply their food and sometimes a special request goes unnoticed. I believe a small compensation should be sufficient but $1500 is flying free

3

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:17 PM yossi Says:

and by the way I have flown many times with Lufthansa and thousands of jews fly every month and they all get treated very nicely so I believe suing a airline for failure to supply kosher food is a big chilil hashem and will for sure cause hostility against jewish passengers. a $200 voucher should of been enough..

4

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:28 PM Anonymous Says:

To get a kosher meal frankly is considered a bonus for Jewish travelers, and the airlines look at it as an accomodation for their Jewish passengers, and unfortunately once the airlines start getting sued, by every passenger who doesn't receive his or her kosher meal like in this case, the airlines will drop the kosher meals altogether, as a result of a few lawsuits.
Truthfully I'm a frequent traveler, and whenever I don't receive the kosher meal I requested at time of reservation, I respectfully say to the steward or stewardess after they apologize, don't worry about it, just if you have some fruit, I can make it through the international flight with that, plus some nosh, and a bagel or two I have in my carry on bag. Chilul hashem also comes in to the picture as well, as opposed to kiddush hashem by making light of the fact the kosher meal doesn't make it on board, like I do by saying to the steward or stewardess, "do I look like I could use another meal" (and by the way I'm not overweight at all, and far from it). After such a comment I can just hear them thinking, wow, we wish every Jew was like this one! It's bad enough that we are despised to start with by the anti semites of the world, and staff of the airlines, so why make it worse than it is for everyone, because now we will all lose our rights to kosher meals for good! So pack up those bagels and cream cheese, and throw in a few danish, and instant soups! And by the way, when they do have my kosher meal on board, I ask the stewardess to serve me last! So no one can say, hey why does the Jew get served first, even though the airline has reason to get rid of the special meal requests first. For the Jew, kiddush hashem is paramount, and takes precedence over getting a kosher meal 30000 feet in the air!

5

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:44 PM C'mon Says:

First of all every person has a right to whatever food he likes be it kosher or not....if a person does not get what he ordered he has a right to sue especially if the flight was 14 hours.

As far as the above comments, it's not a chilul hashem and don't worry Lufthansa won't stop offering kosher meals because they would lose out on the tens of thousands of kosher seeking passengers who fly with them each year.

6

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:58 PM ItzikGold Says:

I am amazed by the comments of these self-conscious Jews. Large corporations get sued for real silly things all of the time. This Kosher eating Jewish person had a legitimate claim, and all of you get all over him instead of supporting him. You should all learn from other peoples how they are not ashamed to stick up for their own kind. Lets not forget Mr. Lufthansa's grand parents slaughtered six million of us, and you get so uptight about a lawsuit of silly $5,000. Maybe if we weren't so self-conscious and maybe if we supported each other the Holocaust would not have happened. I'm expecting all the comments to me about how I'm comparing Lufthansa to the Holocaust... yeah I know it's not their fault... we Jews are such forgiving people, we forgive the Germans but we will not forgive a Brazilian Jew who felt violated as a client for going 14 hours without food and he probably got an an attitude from the German stewardess for not being polite!

7

 Mar 30, 2016 at 05:58 PM savtat Says:

It's wise to bring along a sandwich or danish, and some fruit anyway. You can never tell if a flight will be delayed, and to tell you the truth, the prepackaged meals are really not great food anyway.

I am wondering if they were also nasty to him when they didn't have his food. Doesn't make sense to me to make such a big deal about a meal.

8

 Mar 30, 2016 at 06:08 PM ItzikGold Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

To get a kosher meal frankly is considered a bonus for Jewish travelers, and the airlines look at it as an accomodation for their Jewish passengers, and unfortunately once the airlines start getting sued, by every passenger who doesn't receive his or her kosher meal like in this case, the airlines will drop the kosher meals altogether, as a result of a few lawsuits.
Truthfully I'm a frequent traveler, and whenever I don't receive the kosher meal I requested at time of reservation, I respectfully say to the steward or stewardess after they apologize, don't worry about it, just if you have some fruit, I can make it through the international flight with that, plus some nosh, and a bagel or two I have in my carry on bag. Chilul hashem also comes in to the picture as well, as opposed to kiddush hashem by making light of the fact the kosher meal doesn't make it on board, like I do by saying to the steward or stewardess, "do I look like I could use another meal" (and by the way I'm not overweight at all, and far from it). After such a comment I can just hear them thinking, wow, we wish every Jew was like this one! It's bad enough that we are despised to start with by the anti semites of the world, and staff of the airlines, so why make it worse than it is for everyone, because now we will all lose our rights to kosher meals for good! So pack up those bagels and cream cheese, and throw in a few danish, and instant soups! And by the way, when they do have my kosher meal on board, I ask the stewardess to serve me last! So no one can say, hey why does the Jew get served first, even though the airline has reason to get rid of the special meal requests first. For the Jew, kiddush hashem is paramount, and takes precedence over getting a kosher meal 30000 feet in the air!

You remind me of the Jews in Auschwitz who said, if we comply to their demands, they wont kill us. Guess what... a Jew is a Jew you will always be hated by the goyim, instead of trying to get loved by them, focus your energy to love your fellow yid.

9

 Mar 30, 2016 at 06:35 PM Yankel in CH Says:

Dear Lufthansa,
you were in the wrong, but the value of the meal is probably $25 not 1500. please find a check, on behalf of the passenger for the balance to reimburse you for the appearance of chilul H' by suing for 5K
the passenger could have created millions in good will by taking a drink and crackers etc and not raise a commotion, no other kosher meals on board to share? that was mistake
However, Now that Lufthansa is about to publish a book on the use of forced labourers in WWII, a payment of 1500 or 5K, be it forced,or given the impression of impropriety, PALES IN COMPARISON to the pain and suffering they and other German conglomerates inflicted on the world in WWII. LET THEM try to make the world whole for that!
alles Gute und eine gute Nacht!

10

 Mar 30, 2016 at 06:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Lufthansa only compensated as a result of the German justified holocaust guilt complex (includes swissair), in terms of continuing reparations, which is very considerate and thoughtful, however any of the other airlines would never give in to such a settlement! Either the airlines will drop kosher altogether or make passengers sign waivers, when making reservations, and rightfully so.

11

 Mar 30, 2016 at 06:46 PM happypappy Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

Every jew knows that you can NOT rely on Kosher food to be on board when you travel. Every decent jew takes along food for his journey and this was probably a greedy passenger who just wanted reimbursement for his flight.
I flew many times and did not get my food ordered so I took a sandwich which I took along. Airlines rely on caterers to supply their food and sometimes a special request goes unnoticed. I believe a small compensation should be sufficient but $1500 is flying free

Well said

12

 Mar 30, 2016 at 07:07 PM HankM Says:

Wow this happens to me at least once a year. Nice to know I can monetize it. But the cluck should have brought sandwiches, he knows this stuff always happens

13

 Mar 30, 2016 at 08:41 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

To get a kosher meal frankly is considered a bonus for Jewish travelers, and the airlines look at it as an accomodation for their Jewish passengers, and unfortunately once the airlines start getting sued, by every passenger who doesn't receive his or her kosher meal like in this case, the airlines will drop the kosher meals altogether, as a result of a few lawsuits.
Truthfully I'm a frequent traveler, and whenever I don't receive the kosher meal I requested at time of reservation, I respectfully say to the steward or stewardess after they apologize, don't worry about it, just if you have some fruit, I can make it through the international flight with that, plus some nosh, and a bagel or two I have in my carry on bag. Chilul hashem also comes in to the picture as well, as opposed to kiddush hashem by making light of the fact the kosher meal doesn't make it on board, like I do by saying to the steward or stewardess, "do I look like I could use another meal" (and by the way I'm not overweight at all, and far from it). After such a comment I can just hear them thinking, wow, we wish every Jew was like this one! It's bad enough that we are despised to start with by the anti semites of the world, and staff of the airlines, so why make it worse than it is for everyone, because now we will all lose our rights to kosher meals for good! So pack up those bagels and cream cheese, and throw in a few danish, and instant soups! And by the way, when they do have my kosher meal on board, I ask the stewardess to serve me last! So no one can say, hey why does the Jew get served first, even though the airline has reason to get rid of the special meal requests first. For the Jew, kiddush hashem is paramount, and takes precedence over getting a kosher meal 30000 feet in the air!

I agree with most what you write for except that the kosher meal is NOT a bonus.
airlines serve Vegetarian, Hindu, Gluten free, Diabetic meals and KOSHER.
The passenger pays for the meal which is included in the price of the ticket and airlines are very happy to accommodate travelers request BUT if you didn't get it you shouldn't have to fly free. I got a $100 voucher from United airlines for not getting my kosher meal but I assured the stewardess after she kept on apologizing that I am OK and didn't make a major fuss and sue . The same way a YID does not travel without a sidir and tilim he shouldn't travel without kosher food.
Lufthansa is a German company but very accommodating to every religion and lets not make a chilil hashem with lawsuits for a frozen meal which is heated up .

14

 Mar 30, 2016 at 08:58 PM Anonymous Says:

As a frequent traveler I have experienced the same thing and ask if there might be some fruit or other snacks available. However, before you bite off Mr. Kopfler's head, do you know in which class of service he was travelling ? Would you still consider his claim unreasonable if his one -way first class ticket cost $5100?

Why be so quick to judge.......

15

 Mar 30, 2016 at 09:05 PM Normal Says:

Who says that airlines MUST provide food? It's not written in stone, it's a service they provide basically for free and if they change their policy there is nothing we can do, and then hundreds of thousands of frum Jews every year will miss out. Take some sandwiches, call them if you don't get your meal, take the $200 voucher, and get on with life and don't ruin it for everyone else.

16

 Mar 30, 2016 at 11:20 PM SandraM Says:

I agree. Nasty response to a courtesy service.
I recently traveled with my husband on an overseas flight. Our kosher meal was not there. The stewardess apologized profusely, and like the above commentators, we reassured her that we would be fine. We did bring some nuts, chocolate and snacks, just in case.
For the remainder of the flight, the flight attendants were super courteous, and we were gracious and understanding and left a fine impression - and hopefully made a kiddush Hashem.
We are walking sefer Torahs. We do have to be careful.

17

 Mar 31, 2016 at 03:30 AM MyThreeCents Says:

First of all l always take my own food along just in case. Last time l flew United and l think they even had extra kosher meals on board (flight was to Eretz Yisroel, so maybe that's why). when an airline compensates you with a voucher, you are not getting actual cash so unless you are planning to fly again and apply the voucher, you are not really getting anything and the airline is not really giving away any money.

18

 Mar 31, 2016 at 11:03 AM ItzikGold Says:

Reply to #16  
SandraM Says:

I agree. Nasty response to a courtesy service.
I recently traveled with my husband on an overseas flight. Our kosher meal was not there. The stewardess apologized profusely, and like the above commentators, we reassured her that we would be fine. We did bring some nuts, chocolate and snacks, just in case.
For the remainder of the flight, the flight attendants were super courteous, and we were gracious and understanding and left a fine impression - and hopefully made a kiddush Hashem.
We are walking sefer Torahs. We do have to be careful.

Hi Mrs. Sefer Torah,
Any service that is advertised and offred is not a courtesy, it is a product that they sell. Had they not offred the kosher meal, the person would have flown with another airline. Does the sefer torah and kidush hashem pretain only on leaving fine impressions on goyim or also on Jews, cuz I gotta tell you sis, you are not impressing me with how you judge your fellow brother, and how you try to say that everyone needs to follow your set of values that you think is propper. So keep in mind that Hashem wants you to leave a fine impression on me too not just on the stinking antisemites.

19

 Mar 31, 2016 at 11:29 AM Yossi Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

As a frequent traveler I have experienced the same thing and ask if there might be some fruit or other snacks available. However, before you bite off Mr. Kopfler's head, do you know in which class of service he was travelling ? Would you still consider his claim unreasonable if his one -way first class ticket cost $5100?

Why be so quick to judge.......

does not matter how much you paid for your ticket or in what class you flew. special meals is an accommodation which airlines provide but shouldn't be punished more then the cost of the food.
a yid shouldn't try to make a buck off the airline

20

 Mar 31, 2016 at 11:31 AM jack-l Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

As a frequent traveler I have experienced the same thing and ask if there might be some fruit or other snacks available. However, before you bite off Mr. Kopfler's head, do you know in which class of service he was travelling ? Would you still consider his claim unreasonable if his one -way first class ticket cost $5100?

Why be so quick to judge.......

Best comment of the day on this sugia -)

21

 Mar 31, 2016 at 03:36 PM sighber Says:

Instead of viewing this as a chilul Hashem, maybe people should view it as doing a service for fellow kosher travelers. Now the airline will be sure to check that it put kosher meals on flights.
Maybe the man had health problems that could have been aggravated by not getting his meal or maybe there was a fast the next day. Maybe he couldn't think clearly to do some work he wanted to do on the plane because of not eating properly.
Some airlines may not let passengers bring their on food on board.

22

 Apr 04, 2016 at 08:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
C'mon Says:

First of all every person has a right to whatever food he likes be it kosher or not....if a person does not get what he ordered he has a right to sue especially if the flight was 14 hours.

As far as the above comments, it's not a chilul hashem and don't worry Lufthansa won't stop offering kosher meals because they would lose out on the tens of thousands of kosher seeking passengers who fly with them each year.

every person has a right to whatever food he likes? what kind of idiot are you?

You don't even have that power in a regular restaurant.

23

 Apr 04, 2016 at 08:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
ItzikGold Says:

Hi Mrs. Sefer Torah,
Any service that is advertised and offred is not a courtesy, it is a product that they sell. Had they not offred the kosher meal, the person would have flown with another airline. Does the sefer torah and kidush hashem pretain only on leaving fine impressions on goyim or also on Jews, cuz I gotta tell you sis, you are not impressing me with how you judge your fellow brother, and how you try to say that everyone needs to follow your set of values that you think is propper. So keep in mind that Hashem wants you to leave a fine impression on me too not just on the stinking antisemites.

your logic is as pitiful as your English.

24

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