The Queen's Family Was Shut Down by JetBlue Because They Are Orthodox Jews: Suit

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A Queens couple claims their family was unfairly kicked off a JetBlue flight to New York because they are Orthodox Jews, according to a $40 million lawsuit against the airline.

Michael Nektalov, 42, his wife, Maryam Yoshanayev, and their five children were returning from a vacation in Aruba on February 4, 2021, when they and another Jewish family were ejected from the plane.

The couple was dressed according to the “traditions of our religious community,” including a head covering for Mary and a long beard and yarmulke for Michael, according to Brooklyn federal court papers.

The family also sometimes spoke Hebrew.

The “uncomfortable” couple said they knew “trouble would ensue one way or another,” after JetBlue employees gave them “disdainful and dirty looks,” they said in court papers.

An Orthodox Jewish family has filed a lawsuit against JetBlue Airways, alleging they were kicked off a flight to JFK because they were Jewish. AP

Just before takeoff, the plane returned to the gate, the family said in court papers.

When Nektalov's wife asked a flight attendant what was going on, “all she was told was, 'Oh, your mask slipped down your nose,'” the legal filing said, adding, “Then he made a note of her seat.” “.

The mother was then removed from the plane after being falsely accused of not wearing a face mask, the family alleged, while another Jewish family was also asked to leave.

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at JetBlue,” a company spokesperson said. AP

When the Jewish families asked why they were being expelled, a JetBlue employee allegedly announced “loudly” that “if we don’t all get off the plane, the whole plane will have to get off.”

“At that moment, I felt as if we were in Nazi Germany, isolated, disfigured, and being driven to get rid of them,” Nektalov said in the January 26 filing.

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The family filed a $40 million lawsuit against the airline.

A JetBlue spokesperson said the company has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at JetBlue. We take such allegations very seriously and will work to fully understand the facts of what happened at this event,” said company spokesman Derek Dombrowski.




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