Couple says Spirit Airlines crew called them 'retarded Jews' and banned them from future flights

Elise Solé
A New York family is accusing Spirit Airlines crew members of anti-Semitism, harassment and calling the police on them. (Photo: Getty Images)
A New York family is accusing Spirit Airlines crew members of anti-Semitism, harassment and calling the police on them. (Photo: Getty Images)

A family wants a refund from Spirit Airlines, declaring that crew members made an anti-Semitic comment, called the police on them and blacklisted them from all flights.

According to the New York Post, Chana and Yisroel Beck and their three children, who are 3 years, 2 years and 6 weeks old, flew Spirit for their first family vacation on Tuesday from New York to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Chana told the Post that they carried their FAA-approved Doona baby carriage, which transitions into a car seat, but a flight attendant told them: “‘There is no way this is coming on. I don’t care who approved it at the gate. I’m the boss here, and I’m going to decide if it comes on or not.”

The 25-year-old said another crew member announced, “I’m not going to discuss this — this seat is going off the plane now.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular, parents are permitted to bring FAA-approved car seats on all domestic flights, and if the car seat doesn’t fit, the airline must move the family to a better-suited seat.

The Post reported that a passenger named Binyamin overheard a flight attendant saying “Those retarded Jews” while speaking to a co-worker.

“It was clearly anti-Semitism, a personal thing,” Binyamin told the Post.

A flight attendant also allegedly didn’t allow Yisroel to sit in Chana’s row in their 2-year-old’s seat while holding the child on his lap because the row didn’t have enough emergency oxygen masks.

“My husband didn’t argue and returned to his seat,” Chana told the Post. “The steward, who is called Jose, told my husband ‘Shut up’ when he asked him for his last name. He said, ‘You’re going to have law enforcement meeting you when the plane lands.’”

In Florida, passengers were instructed to stay in their seats, except for the Becks, who were escorted away by two police officers and two airline personnel.

“We had no idea what was happening and why they were escorting us off. We had no idea why they were making a big deal,” Chana told the Post. “The supervisors said the [attendants] had notes on us, that we weren’t listening and that ‘just like you want us to believe your story, we have to believe what they wrote about you.’”

The couple says their return tickets were canceled and they are banned from flying Spirit.

Dov Hikind, a former Democratic New York state assemblyman, wrote on his website that the crew was combative the minute the family boarded: “The infant was unbuckled from her seat when the car seat was forcibly removed by a steward, all the while the other two daughters were left crying as this unfolded.”

Hikind wrote that when the family asked why the police were called, the airline manager said, “They weren’t wearing seat belts.”

“It was pure anti-Semitism for literally nothing,” Chana told the Post.

Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach the Becks for comment.

Spirit Airlines representative Derek Dombrowski sent this message to Yahoo Lifestyle:The safety of our Guests and crew is our top priority. Our records indicate that this Guest ignored flight and ground crew instructions multiple times, beginning with the boarding process and continuing through landing. While the Guests have not contacted us with any allegations of discrimination, we will now launch an investigation and take these matters very seriously. Spirit Airlines does not tolerate any form of discrimination. We are extremely proud of the diversity of our team and strive to provide exceptional service to all of our Guests.”

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