Lufthansa Agrees To More Than $20,000 Settlement With Passengers Who Were Denied Boarding

lufthansa agrees to more than $20,000 settlement with passengers who were denied boarding

Lufthansa Agrees To More Than $20,000 Settlement With Passengers Who Were Denied Boarding

German flag carrier Lufthansa has agreed to pay $21,000 to each passenger who was denied boarding on a flight from Frankfurt (FRA) to Budapest (BUD) earlier this year. In total, 128 passengers were affected, meaning an estimated settlement cost for the airline of over $2.6 million.

The incident began on May 4th, 2022, on flight LH401 from New York JFK to Frankfurt. A large number of Orthodox Jewish passengers onboard the Boeing 747-400 were connecting onwards to Budapest on flight LH1334.

According to reports, there were some mask compliance issues on the Transatlantic segment of the trip, and as such, the decision was made to deny boarding on the flight to Budapest due to failure to follow crew instructions.

However, it was not only the limited number of non-compliant passengers who were denied boarding. Shockingly, many other Orthodox Jewish passengers who were not associated with the group, but who were believed to have also been involved simply because of their name or appearance, were also prevented from boarding the flight.

The incident can be seen in this video recorded by one of the passengers:

The reaction from Lufthansa

The incident soon went viral, and Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, was quick to issue an apology at the time, saying,

“Lufthansa regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude the affected passengers from the flight, for which Lufthansa sincerely apologizes. While Lufthansa is still reviewing the facts and circumstances of that day, we regret that the large group was denied boarding rather than limiting it to the non-compliant guests. We apologize to all the passengers unable to travel on this flight, not only for the inconvenience, but also for the offense caused and personal impact. We will be engaging with the affected passengers to better understand their concerns and openly discuss how we may improve our customer service.”

In a bid to make amends for the incident, Lufthansa subsequently promised more in-depth training for employees. The airline has also worked with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in a joint initiative to combat global antisemitism.

Lufthansa’s commitment to diversity

Since the incident, Lufthansa has gone to significant lengths to showcase its commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, which according to Spohr, are core values of the airline. He went on to say,

“Lufthansa and its employees stand behind the goal of connecting people and cultures worldwide. Diversity and equal opportunity are core values for our company and our corporate culture. What transpired is not consistent with Lufthansa’s policies or values. We have zero tolerance for racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination of any type.”

This summer, an Airbus A320 wearing a special Lovehansa livery made it way around Europe, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. And earlier this month, the airline carried the German men’s football team to the FIFA World Cup onboard its Fanhansa Airbus A330, emblazoned with the words “Diversity Wins.”

What do you think of Lufthansa’s settlement of $21,000 for each affected passenger? Does it make up for what happened? What can be learned from this incident to ensure that it does not occur again in the future? Share your thoughts by commenting below.


  • Lufthansa

    IATA/ICAO Code: LH/DLH Airline Type: Full Service Carrier Hub(s): Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport Year Founded: 1953 Alliance: Star Alliance Airline Group: Lufthansa Group CEO: Carsten Spohr Country: Germany

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