Author Topic: Shabbat and my United Flight  (Read 11496 times)

Offline A3

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2016, 09:20:22 PM »
I want to share an experience my family and I recently had on a United flight from Newark to Tel-Aviv.

We were scheduled on UA90 on Thursday, October 13, leaving at 10:45 PM and arriving in Tel-Aviv on Friday at 4:20 PM. My wife and I were traveling with our 16 month-old daughter to visit family in Israel for Succot. Everything was going smoothly until we were about to leave the gate, when the pilot announced that United was experiencing a computer outage, which would cause a slight delay. The delay went on for some time, at which point some Shabbat observing passengers began expressing concern that our new arrival time would be after Shabbat began (around 5:50 PM).

Around midnight, our pilot announced that computer issue had been resolved and we would be leaving the gate in a few minutes. It was only at this point that some of the Shabbat observing passengers, realizing the plane would not arrive before Shabbat began, decided to get off the plane. Their decision forced another long delay, as United was now required to retrieve each piece of their checked luggage, a complicated process involving meticulously searching through all the planeís luggage bins.

This was incredibly frustrating to the rest of the passengers who were now further delayed by the decision of this small group. Upon completion of the luggage retrieval, which concluded around 1:45 AM, the pilot announced that we would shortly be ready to take off, pending some additional paperwork. While we once again waited to taxi, another group of Shabbat observing passengers decided to disembark the plane, causing yet another long delay. Why they decided to disembark at that point and not with the first group was truly baffling, and only caused further consternation among the rest of the passengers. This delay went on until around 4 AM, at which point the pilot announced the flight was canceled because the crew had timed-out.

After the ensuing chaos, my family was eventually rebooked on a flight that arrived in Israel on Sunday afternoon, nearly two days after our originally scheduled arrival date. In addition, United failed to deliver one of our suitcases, which eventually arrived after an additional two-day delay.

All in all, this experience was a difficult one for my family. As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, flying long-distance isnít easy even when everything goes smoothly. And itís much, much worse when things donít.

Ultimately, United bears a good part of the blame for our flight experience. Their systems caused the initial delay, and they failed to properly manage the passengers on the canceled flight.

Yet those who made the decision to disembark also failed to (or didnít care to) appreciate how their actions affected the rest of the passengers. I fully respect the religious beliefs and practices of each of the passengers who left the plane, but I do question their initial decision to book a flight that was scheduled to arrive so close to Shabbat. Leaving so little time doesn't seem like a smart approach, especially when it can negatively impact the rest of the passengers.

If youíre going to book a flight arriving close to Shabbat, you should also make the decision to live with the consequences of a delayed flight. Anything short of that just doesnít seem fair or right.
A shame you couldn't post this tomorrow.

Online TimT

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2016, 09:35:25 PM »
Do you know anyone that falls asleep when a plane has yet to take off?
Sure do
I always went window but last time this foul smelling person sat down near me and was asleep within a minute. I had to wait hours till she woke up to stand up & stretch. It was bad enough to make me wanna go aisle.

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2016, 10:07:02 PM »
Do you know anyone that falls asleep when a plane has yet to take off? Especially when its delayed?
My best flight was TLV-JFK in DL J. Fell asleep before takeoff and woke up a couple of hours before landing.

And while I have traveled flights that arrive on a Friday early afternoon. I would venture to say that it is probably not Halachically permitted to board a flight that is scheduled to land less than 2 hours (and probably even if it were 3 hours) before Shabbos (even if your final destination is within walking distance of the airport).
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 10:10:28 PM by ExGingi »
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Offline SearchGuy

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2016, 10:26:59 PM »
My best flight was TLV-JFK in DL J. Fell asleep before takeoff and woke up a couple of hours before landing.

And while I have traveled flights that arrive on a Friday early afternoon. I would venture to say that it is probably not Halachically permitted to board a flight that is scheduled to land less than 2 hours (and probably even if it were 3 hours) before Shabbos (even if your final destination is within walking distance of the airport).
UA didn't let me make my seat flat before takeoff 😡

Offline BKYW

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2016, 10:42:01 PM »
Reckless, indeed.  But I fear desperate times (and the fact that Thursday was the only time to fly this year after YK) caused some people to put on blinders and throw caution to the wind.

What, you never heard of Shabbas in TLV?  :D

I don't think it's halachically permitted, but I know people who would book such a flight. Not with 10 children in tow, but even with a child. Bnei Brak (with a q if you fancy) is a 10-15 drive away & candle lighting takes 20 seconds.

Offline David Smith

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2016, 10:54:10 PM »
With a direct flight, the risk is relatively limited being stranded for shabbos wise. Worst case scenario, if the plane gets delayed you just don't go (which is what happened here).
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
JTZ

Offline ad120

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2016, 11:01:05 PM »
Do you know anyone that falls asleep when a plane has yet to take off? Especially when its delayed?
Never Took an ambien?

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2016, 12:10:45 AM »
Never Took an ambien?
No idea what that is. I never had any luck sleeping on planes. :( 

I once took Advil PM, didn't help me. Slept same 20 minutes as always.

Offline David Smith

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2016, 12:23:57 AM »
No idea what that is. I never had any luck sleeping on planes. :( 

I once took Advil PM, didn't help me. Slept same 20 minutes as always.
What cabin you flying?
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
JTZ

Offline shulem92

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2016, 01:28:59 AM »
No idea what that is. I never had any luck sleeping on planes. :( 

I once took Advil PM, didn't help me. Slept same 20 minutes as always.
I once made that same mistake, not only couldn't I fall asleep, I was drowsy also!

Offline keemster26

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2016, 01:39:31 AM »
No idea what that is. I never had any luck sleeping on planes. :( 

I once took Advil PM, didn't help me. Slept same 20 minutes as always.
You need an airplane pillow. I'm usually out cold when I use it.

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2016, 03:45:37 AM »
I don't think it's halachically permitted, but I know people who would book such a flight. Not with 10 children in tow, but even with a child. Bnei Brak (with a q if you fancy) is a 10-15 drive away & candle lighting takes 20 seconds.
Sometimes just getting out of the airport from the moment you land could be a delay.

When people question me as to why I will not fly ELAL, I contrast my ELAL experience with my BA experience. I once went for a friend's wedding in Yerushalim scheduled to land in TLV on Thursday afternoon and leave the next morning, expecting to be back at JFK around on Friday afternoon (Elul time of year). Upon landing in JFK I explained Shabbos to the flight attendant, and asked that in case there is any delay getting to the gate, I should be the first one off. Upon reaching the gate an announcement was made requesting everyone to remain seated, flight attendant took my hand luggage and escorted me off the plane ahead of everyone else. I got home before Shabbos.

Contrast that with the insensitivity I experienced with ELAL when going to my father's funeral, and anyone understands why I have blacklisted ELAL.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline henche

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2016, 09:52:04 AM »
Since we're guessing; How about they weren't SS and after being delayed that long they just thought they'd use that as a reason to get off the flight and possibly be refunded?

How about they had a munkatcher passport, but it doesn't work on shabbos?

Offline joe1234

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2016, 11:37:20 AM »
to me the most amazing part of this story is the second group that obviously had a tough nisayon and they finally withstood the nisayon. maybe the whole thing happened just so that they can withstand the nisayon... who knows...

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2016, 12:24:30 PM »
What cabin you flying?
Economy :)

Wish I could fly business on the next trip..