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A flight from Kiev to Israel Thursday was delayed for over an hour while an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man complained about a movie that was being shown on the plane’s TV screens and refused to take his seat until the screens were shut off.


“Our departure from Kiev tonight was delayed by an hour when an ultra-Orthodox man decided to take over the flight and announced that he would not take his seat until the screens were retracted,” sports reporter Amit Horsky, who was on the flight, posted on Facebook, along with a video of the incident.

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In keeping with religious tradition, the man argued that he didn’t want his children to watch TV or movies during the flight. Flight attendants, however, were unable to fulfill his request and instead issued eye masks to the family. But his refusal to sit down still caused a delay for more than 200 passengers, some of whom pleaded with him to stop disrupting the flight.

“The plane, which was already on the runway, returned to the gate. The door was opened, and an El Al security guard boarded the plane. After much pleading the ‘righteous man’ agreed to sit down,” Horsky continued. “I want to stress that dozens of ultra-Orthodox passengers on the flight yelled at the man, explaining to him that he was profaning God’s name through his actions. They told him that he was wasting important time for the 200 people whom he was detaining. An argument broke out between them, which at times got very loud.”

In an official response, the El Al-owned airline said that the passenger was pleased with the eye masks given to him and his family.

“Prior to the departure of the UP flight LY2654, from Kiev, the passenger refused to obey the safety instructions and refused to be seated or put on his seat belt,” their statement read. “After a conversation with the plane’s crew and after it was made clear to him that [the plane] could not take off if he refused to listen to instructions, the passenger sat in his seat and the flight departed. At his request, he and his family received blindfolds.”

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Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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