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article imageEasyJet under fire after offering pork only menu on Israel flight

By Kim I. Hartman     Feb 24, 2011 in Travel
Tel Aviv - Passengers aboard an EasyJet flight from Israel to London experienced a bit of turbulence when it was announced shortly after takeoff that the menu options for those wanting to dine were limited to pork products, instead of the standard kosher fare.
"The United Kingdom budget airline has apologized to its Jewish customers after loading ham melts and bacon baguettes on to the flight instead of the standard kosher food," reports CNN.
"Passengers who follow the faith's ban on eating pork were forced to go hungry for the four-and-a-half hour journey from Tel Aviv to London," according to FOXNews. Food is not included in the airfare pricing on EasyJet and most airlines, food is sold separately and provided as a service to passengers of all faiths.
EasyJet admits to making the mistake on a recent flight from Tel Aviv. The mix-up occurred when ground personnel mistakenly loaded the wrong food containers onto the plane as it was preparing to board the waiting passengers.
"It was a little insensitive," said Victor Kaufman, 25, East Finchley. "I think they need a lesson or two on cultural awareness if they expand their routes into the Middle East."It is not just Jewish passengers who do not eat pork but Muslim ones, too. I couldn't eat anything," according to The Jewish Chronicle Online.
EasyJet's website announced in a 2009 statement to the traveling public that flights from Tel Aviv to London would offer a line of kosher foods and sandwiches including salmon, vegetarian panini's and egg salad for purchase as an optional feature for travelers. The food was to be provided by Hermolis, a Jewish company based in North West London. EasyJet promised comparable pricing to non-kosher meals available on its other flights.
An EasyJet spokeswoman said non-kosher food is also available on this same flight, however "the airline's policy is not to serve any pork products on flights to and from Israel. We can confirm that we have done everything we can to ensure that this does not happen again," reported the The Daily Mail.
The Jewish traveling public is questioning the efforts by EasyJet to correct the problems on the ground and to teach cultural awareness to their staff and flight attendants.
The Jewish Chronicle said in a follow-up article that this isn't an isolated incident. "St Johns Wood businessman David Abrahams said he was offered the sandwiches on both his outward and return flight to Tel Aviv earlier this month. This wasn't a mistake. An announcement was made on both the outward and return flight. I was flabbergasted."
He also lashed out at staff training after one stewardess offered a ham sandwich to a Chasidic man sitting next to him. "I thought it was so insensitive," Mr Abrahams said. "I was quite horrified. I couldn't believe my ears. They shouldn't do this on an airline going to Tel Aviv.
An EasyJet spokeswoman said: "It does appear that the mistake was made on more than one flight around the time of the original flight mentioned - EasyJet takes this extremely seriously and has put the necessary processes in place to ensure that this cannot happen again
EasyJet bills itself as "Europe's leading low-fares airline, operating 182 aircraft on 445 routes, to 112 airports in 28 countries." The airline claims to have transported over 44 million passengers in 2009.
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