Couple says they were booted off US flight for refusing to put Jewish items on floor

Suing American Airlines, Roberto and Elana Birman say they were taken off plane in August after they said they wouldn’t place tallit bag under seat

In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019, photo, American Airlines aircraft are shown parked at their gates at Miami International Airport in Miami. American Airlines is accusing its mechanics and their unions of conducting an illegal work slowdown to gain leverage in contract talks, and the airline is asking a federal judge to stop the activity. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Source: Times of Israel, By TOI STAFF, December 6, 2021

A US couple has claimed they were kicked off an American Airlines flight in August after they refused to place a bag containing a prayer book and traditional Jewish shawl on the floor of the plane.

The couple is suing American Airlines for an unspecified amount, the New York Post reported Saturday.

Roberto and Elana Birman told the outlet that they were flying home to New York from Miami and that as the plane was preparing to take off, a flight attendant began to look inside the overhead luggage compartments.

The couple said the flight attendant then removed the tallit bag from one of the storage units. The bag was made of clear plastic, and the religious artifacts inside could be seen.

“Whose is this?” the attendant asked, and Roberto said it was his.

The couple alleges that the flight attendant then threw the bag onto Roberto’s lap and said it needed to be stored on the floor under his seat.