Lufthansa apologizes after denying boarding to more than 100 Jewish pilgrims over mask rules
Germany’s flag carrier and the country’s biggest airline, Lufthansa, have apologized to scores of passengers who were denied boarding on their connecting flight from Frankfurt to Budapest.
Through an official statement posted on Twitter, the airline that it regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude some travelers from the flight, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“On May 4, a large number of booked passengers were denied boarding on their connecting flight with LH 1334 from Frankfurt to Budapest. Lufthansa regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude the affected passenger from the flight, for which Lufthansa sincerely apologizes. reads Lufthansa’s statement.
The group traveled to Hungary as part of an annual pilgrimage to honor the death of a Jewish scholar. However, as some of them were not wearing face masks, Lufthansa officers told the whole group that they could not attend the flight for operational reasons.
On the day of the incident, the group of Orthodox Jews were praying as the rest of the passengers boarded. Once they approached the gate, officers told them they would not be accepting any other passengers on the flight.
After being criticized, Lufthansa said it was reviewing the circumstances of the day and apologized for the offense caused and the personal impact.
“While Lufthansa is still reviewing the facts and circumstances of this day, we regret that the large group was denied boarding rather than limiting it to non-compliant guests. We apologize to all passengers unable to travel on this flight, not only for the inconvenience but also for the offense caused and the personal impact,” the airline added.
Lufthansa said the airline and its employees support the goal of connecting people and cultures around the world. Additionally, they stated that diversity and equal opportunity for all are their core value and stated that the company has zero tolerance for racism, anti-Semitism, or any other type of discrimination.
The company is now expected to reach out to those affected to better understand their concerns.
Under German, Lufthansa requires all travelers to wear a face mask throughout their journey. The airline’s official website explains that cloth masks, visors, valve masks, scarves and handkerchiefs are not permitted on board.
Passengers are allowed to wear surgical masks or any other non-valve, non-cloth masks.