Ultra-orthodox Jewish men refuse to sit next to women, delay flight

Passenger described flight as "11-hour-long nightmare"

flight delayed after ultra orthodox jewish man refuses to sit next to woman

Hundreds of ultra-orthodox Jewish passengers caused chaos on a flight from New York to Tel Aviv when they refused to sit next to women.

Take-off was delayed when the group, who was travelling to Israel to celebrate Jewish New Year, began asking women to change seats with them, some even offering them money to move, Shalom Life reports.

One passenger described the flight as "an 11-hour-long nightmare".

Another traveller, Amit Ben-Natan, told Shalom Life that during boarding "people stood in the aisles and refused to go forward".

He added: "Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won't take off as long as they keep standing in the aisles."

When the El Al Airlines flight finally took off, the men reportedly stood up and crowded the aisles, making it "mission impossible" for other passengers to go to the toilet.

An online petition has now started for Israel's national airline to stop allowing the "bullying" of female passengers.

It reads: "Why does El Al Airlines permit female passengers to be bullied, harassed, and intimidated into switching seats which they rightfully paid for and were assigned to by El Al Airlines? One person's religious rights does not trump another person's civil rights."

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell

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