The flight was operated by Delta Airlines in partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Getty Images
A group of Orthodox Jewish teens had a layover in Amsterdam on their way home to New York from Kyiv.
On the flight from Kyiv, they were reprimanded for eating their own food outside of designated mealtimes.
18 were reportedly barred from boarding the Amsterdam-New York flight after the food dispute.
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Eighteen Orthodox Jewish girls were barred from a Delta-KLM flight from Amsterdam to New York on Friday because of a dispute about COVID-19 protocols, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The girls were part of a group of about 55 Jewish teenagers who had spent two weeks visiting religious sites in Kyiv, Ukraine, their rabbi told Fox News.
During the first leg of their journey – a Delta-operated flight, in partnership with KLM, from Kyiv to Amsterdam – flight attendants reportedly disciplined the girls for failing to comply with coronavirus safety measures.
The passengers breached the protocols by taking their masks off to eat their own food outside of the designated mealtimes, The Jerusalem Post reported. The girls were eating religiously approved kosher food provided to them by a rabbi that was not available on the flight, the paper added.
Witnesses told Fox News that a KLM security guard “jeered” at the girls and made some of them cry.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Dutch police were then called to remove the girls from the flight after they turned down requests to put their food away, but Fox News said that the girls were advised by an attorney not to vacate their seats.
In response, Delta ordered all passengers to leave the plane and refused to allow 18 of the girls back onto board their flight to New York, Fox News reported.
The flight was delayed by two hours.
The girls were booked onto a flight later that day but declined to travel on it, The Jerusalem Post said. This is because it would have involved returning to their homes after the start of Shabbat – the Jewish day of rest when observant Jews are not allowed to travel by car or plane.
Instead, the girls were transferred to Antwerp, Belgium, and will return home on Sunday, their rabbi Yisroel Kahan told Fox News.
Delta told Insider, in a statement: “We apologize to our customers on Delta Flight 47, Amsterdam to New York-JFK, who were delayed and inconvenienced to remove a group of passengers who refused to comply with crew.” instructions.”.
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