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Ukraine - Frustrated Jewish Passengers Storm Security at Kiev airport

Published on: February 25, 2010 10:58 PM
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Ukraine - Seventeen Jewish passengers flying Aerosvit Airlines from Tel Aviv to New York City were stranded for 19 hours at the international airport in Kiev this week Monday after their connecting flight to John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport was canceled. The frustrated passengers physically stormed the airport security installation at 1:00 a.m. in a desperate effort to receive answers from the Ukrainian airline.

According to flight passenger Matt Metz, the passengers conducted the early morning assault after 12 hours of neglect from the airline, which according to him provided them with no information about the flight cancellation and no solution to their travel plans.

“They started off by telling us that the flight would be delayed by an hour, then they told us it would take 12 hours. At that point they started simply ignoring us completely,” said Metz.

He said the passengers were forced to remain in the transit hall for hours on end, provided only with fruit and water. “Three times they came out to us and handed each person an apple, an orange and a kiwi.”

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Metz said that the group included young people in their 20s and older passengers.

“Some of the older passengers were particularly concerned because they didn’t have access to their medication and didn’t know when they would be able to take it,” said Metz.

He said he was shocked by the airline’s failure to address their questions and inform them of their fate.

“The airline staff literally turned their backs on us when we approached them with our concerns,” he said.

“The assault was really an expression of frustration. Nobody threw a punch; it was mostly just concerted screaming. A couple of Breslav hassidic boys started singing and dancing.”

Metz said one of his fellow passengers was able to make contact with the United States Consulate in Kiev and that the consul came to visit them, giving one passenger a mobile phone to make local calls and to keep him posted on the proceedings.

According to the Foreign Ministry spokesman’s office, no similar calls were made to the Israeli consulate.

At 5:30 a.m. the airline notified the passengers that they were to be transferred to Moscow and put on flights to JFK.

Aerosvit’s representative in Israel, Shimon Mostovoy, was out of the office all day and failed to respond to reporters’ questions, but the airline’s central office in Kiev issued the following response: “On Sunday, February 21, flight no. 131 Kiev-New York, scheduled for 1:55 p.m. [local time], was delayed due to the malfunction of one of the aircraft systems. After system diagnostics it was decided to replace the broken unit. The new one had to be delivered from Great Britain.

“In this connection the employees of the airline [around 2 a.m.] proposed rerouting for the passengers - to New York with the flights of other airlines, via Moscow, Frankfurt, Rome, Istanbul, Prague, Warsaw and other cities.

“According to the information of the passenger handling department, some of the passengers traveling to New York, including transfer passengers from Israel, refused to fly with other carriers and decided to wait for [the] Aerosvit flight. Twenty passengers received accommodation in hotels. All the passengers, waiting for their departure at the airport and in hotel, were provided with hot meals; passengers from Israel were served kosher meals at their request.

“On Monday morning all the transfer passengers have agreed for rerouting and by 2 p.m. today have departed to the USA with the flights of other carriers.”


More of today's headlines

New York - All New York City public schools and some private yeshiva schools will be closed on Friday in response to the huge snowstorm that pounded the region... Manhattan, NY - A homemade explosive was found at a train station, and one man has been taken into custody. The device, found in front of a ticket window at...

 

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Read Comments (28)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:20 PM Anonymous Says:

I'm a first account witness of the lack of professionalism with AeroSvit. The worst flight I had- EVER (and I've had some bad ones)!!! They don't care about anyone. It seems as though they are a third world country, with barely any computers. They are rough and tough. I would dissuade anyone from flying with that airline. At ALL costs. It's just not worth it!!!

2

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM Anonymous Says:

You get what you pay for. Sure they got cheap airline tickets from TLV to JFK but was it worth it?

3

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM s Says:

It sounds like those planes where you bring your own chair. In other word we dont care.

4

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:28 PM mikey Says:

took them after israir messed me over on a return flight dont reccomend them either although my flight landed safely

5

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:37 PM lm Says:

OH MY GOSSSHH i was just leaving kiev via areosvit to jfk this past january and they delayed the plane without giving us any information as to when we would be departing it was ridiculous. THEY SHOULD GO DOWN.................

6

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:56 PM Anonymous Says:

I would never fly with airlines from 3rd world countries. Ukraine is poor as Haiti, just white. I can't trust their planes in the air.

7

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:59 PM Frequent Flyer Says:

I haven't heard too many sane people who are happy with the airline.

8

 Feb 26, 2010 at 12:06 AM Anonymous Says:

"The assault was really an expression of frustration. Nobody threw a punch; it was mostly just concerted screaming. A couple of Breslav hassidic boys started singing and dancing."

Classic!! Now THAT is a kiddush HaShem!!

9

 Feb 26, 2010 at 01:55 AM stormed with songs? Says:

What a racy(or racist imagine a healine like this "budist monks terrorize city by braying[sic]") headline for a total non incident?!

10

 Feb 26, 2010 at 02:23 AM na nach nachm nachman m'uman Says:

I once flew Aerosvit Airline to kiev on the way to Uman for Rosh Hashona.On the way out of the aircraft I politely thanked the crew. Instead of responding or at least nodding their heads in appreciation to my thank you, one of the crew members physically shoved me towards the exit. Rude is an understatement, these guys are very abusive. I don't know about the rest of the year but Rosh Hashona time flying to Kiev with Aerosvit is just as expensive as El Al...

11

 Feb 26, 2010 at 03:47 AM yos Says:

I traveled with them and it was a very bad experience the rudes of the staff towards a Jew was ugly and of course very unconfirmed my travel agent told me that he stop offering this connection to the unhappy people

12

 Feb 26, 2010 at 04:06 AM woodmere Says:

Let's not forget these are the same Ukranians anti semits that killed our grand parents in the Holocosut. The airport is only a few miles from Babi Yar.

13

 Feb 26, 2010 at 08:09 AM torah through kiruv Says:

The funny part is those soldiers in airport in their cowboy hats. They have no clue why the Americans are laughing at them!

14

 Feb 26, 2010 at 06:08 AM shlomo zalman Says:

Looks like no amount of abuse will prevent the frum jew from trying to fly for a cheaper price,

15

 Feb 26, 2010 at 06:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
woodmere Says:

Let's not forget these are the same Ukranians anti semits that killed our grand parents in the Holocosut. The airport is only a few miles from Babi Yar.

Aerosvit is owned by Jews who are major benefactors of the Jewish community in Ukraine and EY. Unfortunately, they were hard hit by the crisis (in fact these present owners bought it recently from the equally Jewish and philanthropic founders) and are trying many ways of revamping their system.

16

 Feb 26, 2010 at 06:30 AM Richard Nixon Says:

Reply to #10  
na nach nachm nachman m'uman Says:

I once flew Aerosvit Airline to kiev on the way to Uman for Rosh Hashona.On the way out of the aircraft I politely thanked the crew. Instead of responding or at least nodding their heads in appreciation to my thank you, one of the crew members physically shoved me towards the exit. Rude is an understatement, these guys are very abusive. I don't know about the rest of the year but Rosh Hashona time flying to Kiev with Aerosvit is just as expensive as El Al...

I have a better way to save money and not put a penny into the pocket of any Ukrainian.

STAY HOME.

17

 Feb 26, 2010 at 09:22 AM Anonymous Says:

i'm sure if a few of the frum chevra new they had 12 hours to spend in Ukraine they would chap arain a few kivrei tzaddikim - Zhitomer is not far from Kiev

18

 Feb 26, 2010 at 09:34 AM Anonymous Says:

A real baneh meshiggooyim! Us new yorkers are here stuck in the snow and these guys are wasting valuable time sitting around in an airport! Where is your respect?

19

 Feb 26, 2010 at 09:51 AM Anonymous Says:

At least these folks got home safely. Many third world airline have horrible safety records. WHy would you risk your life for a few hundred dollars?

20

 Feb 26, 2010 at 09:53 AM Anonymous Says:

I don't feel bad for people who were worried about taking their medications (unless they needed food to accompany their dose) anyone with half a brain keeps their medications with them (in carry-on bags) and NEVER in checked bags. Would you check your tallis and tifillin?

21

 Feb 26, 2010 at 10:10 AM Singing and Dancing Says:

You gotta love the Breslovers.

22

 Feb 26, 2010 at 10:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Aerosvit is owned by Jews who are major benefactors of the Jewish community in Ukraine and EY. Unfortunately, they were hard hit by the crisis (in fact these present owners bought it recently from the equally Jewish and philanthropic founders) and are trying many ways of revamping their system.

So because they are yidden they can treat their passengers (yidden and others) like cattle? But I guess if you support yiddisha mosdos you can or should get away with anything.

23

 Feb 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM Abba Says:

Thanks for the post I am canceling my son's trip home for pesach on this airline.

24

 Feb 26, 2010 at 11:29 AM Anonymous Says:

The Jews clamored to get out of Ukraine, why you want to go back even for a minute?

25

 Feb 26, 2010 at 12:06 PM AH Says:

Reply to #14  
shlomo zalman Says:

Looks like no amount of abuse will prevent the frum jew from trying to fly for a cheaper price,

In my personal experience with Aerosvit, they not only also made my family and I wait in the airport for a long time (for a connecting flight to Israel) without any information, but one of their workers also stole a video camera from one of our bags! They left the case so that we wouldn't notice it until later, and indeed didn't find it out until we got home - and were never able to get any compensation from them.

26

 Feb 26, 2010 at 01:11 PM Liepa Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

The Jews clamored to get out of Ukraine, why you want to go back even for a minute?

Many reasons to go back for, to this cursed country unfortunately, Baal Shem Tov, The Bardivitcher etc. etc.

27

 Feb 27, 2010 at 05:54 PM Anonymous Says:

When I was on the plane they ran out of seats so 2 people sat in the aisles on folding chairs

28

 Feb 28, 2010 at 10:34 PM Anonymous Says:

You should see that "israeli" hoolihans making trouble for everyone at the Ukraine airports of Kiev and Odessa just before the Rosh HaShona, trying to storm passport control units, pushing each other to get there first, sleeping on the floor, insulting the milisha (police), etc. No wander they lost their patience with the "religious" mishugoim.

29

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