Posted by: ZOA Staff
July 1, 2015
Action Alerts

Don’t Fly Lufthansa German Airlines:  It Discriminates Against Travelers to Israel

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today urged travelers not to fly Lufthansa German Airlines because it discriminates against the Jewish State of Israel and travelers to Israel.  According to Lufthansa’s website, Economy Class travelers are permitted one free bag of up to 23 kg.  But Lufthansa has a special baggage allowance policy for Economy Class travelers, which allows two bags (each weighing up to 23 kg), free of charge, on several routes including “between the United States, Canada, Mexico and Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.”  Conspicuously excluded from this more generous baggage policy is Israel.

Conspicuously excluded from this more generous baggage policy is Israel.

In May 2015, ZOA wrote to Lufthansa, calling on the airline to explain its discriminatory baggage policy.  The ZOA wrote:  We hope that Israel’s omission was merely an oversight and was not done intentionally.  If it was intentional, it would clearly constitute anti-Semitism.”

In response, Lufthansa did not dispute the existence of the policy excluding Israel, nor did the airline provide any justification for it.  Lufthansa referred vaguely to baggage allowances that are “based on economic and commercial factors,” but did not explain how these factors identically affect every Arab/Muslim country in the Middle East, except the Jewish State of Israel.

Lufthansa denied that its special baggage policy is discriminatory.  But on its face, it is.  Lufthansa has singled out Israel and subjected the Jewish State, and travelers to the Jewish State, to different and conspicuously less generous treatment than that enjoyed by any Arab/Muslim country in the Middle East. 

ZOA wrote again to Lufthansa, urging that the airline revise its discriminatory policy immediately and make it crystal clear, in a letter response to the ZOA and on the Lufthansa website, that travelers to and from Israel will now be afforded at least the same free baggage allowance that travelers are permitted when flying to any other country in the Middle East.  Lufthansa has ignored our concerns.  ZOA wrote:  “a German airline should be especially sensitive to discriminating against Jews and the Jewish State.”

Let Lufthansa know that you have zero tolerance for its discriminatory policy against Israel.

1.      Contact Mr. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa, at carsten.spohr@dlh.de; and/or

 

2.      Contact Linda Stiene, Customer Relations North America, Lufthansa German Airlines, 1640 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY  11554; and

 

3.      Don’t fly Lufthansa until it changes its discriminatory policy against Israel and travelers to Israel.