Kosher label (illustration)
Photo: Gabi Menashe
A rabbi and his wife were awarded NIS 3,000 (about $742) in damages from the Israir airline after a mistake on the company's part left the pair without food during a flight from New York to Tel Aviv, and an accidental fall left the woman bruised and embarrassed.
The couple ordered glatt kosher meals on an Israir round trip to the United States, but on the flight back, the pair did not receive their meals, as the company claimed their names were not on the glatt kosher menu list.
The couple also complained that the service lights were not working properly during the entire flight, and their requests to have the lights fixed were ignored.
After landing in Israel, as the couple left the aircraft and got onto the escalator, the rabbi's wife fainted, fell back and was injured. As a result of the fall, the woman's headscarf was removed and her dress was rearranged in a revealing manner.
The couple filed a claim against the company, demanding damages in the amount of NIS 17,800 ($4,400) due to the embarrassment, pain and suffering the incident caused.
Israir argued the plaintiff's fall did not happen during the flight and therefore the company could not be held liable, according to the Warsaw Convention.
The defendant further argued that even if the plaintiffs ordered a glatt kosher meal, it was not obligated to provide one, and that the sum of the damages demanded was excessive and exaggerated, and amounted to almost double the price of two round trip tickets.
'Israir cannot substitute ordered meal'Justice Gideon Barak of Rehovot's Small Claims Court ruled that Israir failed to provide sufficient evidence that, according to its contract with the passengers, it is not obligated to provide any type of meal and/or specific food such as glatt kosher.
The judge also rejected Israir's argument that the plaintiffs could have eaten the regular kosher meal instead of a glatt kosher meal, and said Israir cannot take the liberty to substitute a meal that was ordered with any other dish.
"The defendant should have been prepared with enough glatt kosher meals and should not have put the plaintiffs before the halachic dilemma of whether to eat what was available – even if it's regular kosher and not glatt – or not to eat at all until arriving in Israel," the judge wrote in his verdict.
The judge also ruled that the plaintiff's injury was caused from the fall that was the result of an accidental incident directly related to the flight, and therefore, Israir was accountable.
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and ordered Israir to pay NIS 3,000 ($742) in damages, and court expenses in the amount of NIS 800 ($197).