El Al being sued by Florida woman over gender discrimination

El Al statement: “Flight attendants are at the service of passengers.”



A Florida woman reportedly is suing El Al for gender discrimination after she was forced to change seats to accommodate an ultra-Orthodox man.

Debra Ryder charged that a flight steward moved her to a seat in the back without her prior consent, Israeli media reported. The ultra-Orthodox man had refused to sit next to her and then moved into her aisle seat.

El Al plane

El Al plane – Photo by Nir Keidar

Ryder reportedly filed a lawsuit on Aug. 9 seeking some $12,500 in compensation, including for distress. She had obtained an aisle seat for medical reasons, she told Army Radio.

Ryder’s attorney, Orly Erez-Likhovsky of the Israel Religious Action Center, also has sent a letter to El Al demanding that it set and distribute specific instructions to employees on how to act when confronted with such cases, Globes reported.

“Flight attendants are at the service of passengers, they are faced with different requests and they try to help as much as possible,” El Al said in a statement. “The passenger’s complaint will be looked into and dealt with accordingly.”


View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/florida-woman-sues-el-al-over-gender-segregation-reports-say-1.457911


  1. If I’m not mistaken, El Al will later be able to sue the ‘gentleman’ for undue expenses incurred by his refusal (under contract) to sit in his designated place when he agreed to accept his ticket.

  2. Dori says:

    Should he not purchase the seats in the row, to avoid this?
    How can it be the responsibility of the airline?
    The woman stated her medical need when she purchased the ticket.

  3. Gilbert says:

    I wonder if I could sue all the airlines for “height” discrimination? I had to stand in the rear galley of a Delta flight from Phoenix, AZ to Atlanta, GA because the seat assigned to me was impossible for me to sit in comfortably with my long legs. The plane was overbooked with no options and I still had to stoop in the galley to keep from banging my head on the ceiling.

    • I think you should. But, not to be vengeful or disproportionate to the event. Demand free air-travel for the rest of your life 🙂 In the long term, they don’t really loose to much, and you get proper compensation.

      Good Luck Big Guy!

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