Discrimination At JFK Airport Due To Passport?

kuwait airlines
image: wikipedia

I’m not sure that this should be happening in the U.S. or in any countries/ airports for that matter…

A woman was trying to fly from New York’s JFK Airport to London on Kuwait Airlines but was not allowed on the plane due to her passport.

No, the passport wasn’t expired and my guess is that it had enough pages left inside. The problem with her passport was that it is an Israeli passport.

The woman, Iris Eliazarov was traveling with her husband David Nektalov who is American and has an American passport.

Eliazarov was told by a Kuwait Airlines employee that she wasn’t going anywhere. Here is part of the exchange according to ABC News “‘There’s no way you’re getting on that flight,’ and I said ‘Why not?'” she said. “And he said, ‘Because you have an Israeli passport.'”

Her husband stepped in to no avail. In the end, the couple had to travel separately to London. Eliazarov was booked by Kuwait airlines onto another airline “but refused to re-book her husband.”

Kuwait Airlines is owned by the government of Kuwait. Since Kuwait does not recognize Israel, they don’t recognize Israeli passports. Totally ridiculous if you ask me…

The couple is now suing and wants to see the rules changed.

Here is the big questions- Did Kuwait Airlines break any American laws?

I would think that if the plane was landing in Kuwait, they would have grounds to stop the woman from flying since she wouldn’t be admitted into the country. However, being that the plane was taking off from the United States and landing in London, I’d think they would have to respect the freedoms people have the rights to here in America, allowing her to fly on this route.

I’m definitely no legal expert by any means but it seems crazy that a situation like this could occur in an airport in the U.S.

Find out more of the details from ABC News here.

22 thoughts on “Discrimination At JFK Airport Due To Passport?

    1. nice try. the guardian’s story describes an incident between passengers & other passengers, not passengers & an airline as is the case with this blog post.

      1. Nice try? The airline is allowing other passengers to bully women to move seats that they paid for. The plane does not take off until these groups are seated. Can you imagine what would happen on a United or AA flight if a group refused to sit down because they didn’t want to sit next to a woman? They would be escorted off immediately.

        1. “the airline is allowing….” is your conjecture. nothing more. nice try x2.

          this blog post is about an AIRLINE denying boarding to a PASSENGER. keep trying… nicely.

    2. Nick Summy- While it is definitely wrong when flights are delayed and people are bullied, the ultra-orthodox men should be fined or something to that extent. However, it is completely different than the Kuwait Air situation.

      Kuwait Air has a policy to not allow Israeli passport holders to fly. Please show me where El Al is banning specific passport holders/ nationalities from flying.

  1. i believe there is a possibility of violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended, that prohibits discrimination in the basis of national origin, among other factors. The Act, and related laws, prohibit discrimination in a wide range of areas, including public accommodation, which I would think could be applied in this instance. However, my background is labor and employment law, so I’m not sure of the applicability of the law to the current instance.

  2. Michael, what research did you do. Isreal airline is the worse when it comes to this. They have denied people with family emergency and taking route with different airlines. They are also the ONLY airline that is allowed to do its own inspection instead of TSA when leaving jfk no other airline is given this privilege “Wonder Why”.

    The Israeli won’t even give visa to FEDERAL AIR MARSHAL working for homeland security that are Muslims. The fact is you don’t see Muslims winning and complaining

  3. It depends on what are the rules for a fifth freedom flight. Does Kuwait Airways have a legal right to refuse someone to board using the logic that the aircraft is akin to Kuwaiti territory?

  4. Pilly- in quick searching I’ve yet to read anything about El Al doing this. No drama here, just reporting what happened…

    Uri- I did see that…

    Mohamed- I’ve read of many Muslims flying El Al so not sure how you can say they turn down all Muslims. You seem very biased with the name calling… I’d think that a Palestinan passport would be turned down in the US. Palestine is not a country.

    Here is a list: http://www.un.org/en/members/

  5. They were right to turn her as Israeli airline will turn away any moslem with western passport on the ground of security!!!i ve been turned away from entering Israel with my british passport with no valid reason given,i guess because my name is Mohamed and i am a potential terrorist.
    The idiot should have asked before buying her tiket is her non recognised Israeli passport would cause any problem,i wonder if a Palestinian using a Palestinian passport (not recognised by USA but recognised by over 85countries worldwide) would have been accepted to board American airlines.

    1. untrue – El Al may give you extra screening and behavior testing, but they do not deny boarding based on passport. I can’t find any sources to back up that claim.

      It is very disappointing that so many MEA give such a hard time to Americans with Israeli stamps or Israeli passports. Etihad doesn’t even have Israel on its online map. It’s sad because there is so much traffic to TLV, everyone could make more money. And worse, airlines are playing politics.

      I don’t know why anyone with an Israeli Passport would book Kuwait anyway. And I don’t know which laws (if any) are broken given the 5th freedom nature of the flight. Interesting questions raised!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *