United Airlines Sued Over Tel Aviv Flight Disruption

  • United-Airlines-Boeing-777-300(ER)--1

    United Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    –Scott Kirby

    United States

United Airlines is being sued for $50,000 following a delay to one of its flights from Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv (TLV) earlier this month. On August 6th, flight UA84 was scheduled to depart at 16:25, but was subsequently delayed until 07:00 the next day. United Airlines has said that the delay was due to a curfew at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport.

However, this does not correlate with what passengers were told at the time. An announcement was made by a gate agent, advising that “the pilots are refusing to take the flight at this time.” This was captured and posted on Twitter by one of the passengers:


A lawsuit has now been filed on behalf of the plaintiff by Migir Ilganayev of the Ilganayev Law Firm, accusing United Airlines of a number of charges, including fraud, breach of contract, and negligence.

The summons states,

“[United] committed fraud and deceit against Plaintiff and all other passengers when its crew refused to perform their job, and United deliberately, and knowingly lied about the reason for its delay.”

United Airlines operates direct flights from Newark to Tel Aviv with its Boeing 787-10 aircraft. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

Ongoing confusion over the cause of the delay

Following the delay on August 6th, United Airlines informed passengers that the delay was caused by a curfew, and this was subsequently confirmed as the reason for the delay on the airline’s website. However, when Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post contacted a spokesperson at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport for clarification, it was told that “there is no curfew. At all.”

To add to the confusion, when the plaintiff contacted United Airlines again following the delay, they were first told that it was due to bad weather in the area. reason of the curfew being given.

The flight crew’s apparent refusal to operate the flight may have been due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, which had flared up around the date of the flight, with reports of rockets being fired.

Simple Flying has reached out to United Airlines for comment.

United Airlines currently has 13 Boeing 787-10s in its fleet, with a further eight on order. Photo: Joe Kunzler | Simple Flying

Lack of compensation for passengers

A number of passengers reported receiving only a $40 meal voucher from United Airlines as compensation for the delay. The airline states on its website “we don’t provide free hotel stays if your flight is delayed or canceled for reasons outside our control.”

This has led to accusations of the airline blaming an apparent curfew for the delay, which would be considered outside its control, in order to avoid compensating passengers.

“Clearly, United did not want to be honest with its passengers that the flight was delayed due to the pilot’s refusal to fly because that would leave solely them liable to all of their passengers.”

United Airlines in Tel Aviv

Among the US Big 3, United Airlines currently has the largest presence in Tel Aviv, with services from its hubs at Chicago-O’Hare, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington-Dulles. Flight UA84 from Newark is operated daily by the airline’s Boeing 787-10 aircraft.

United Airlines faces competition on its Newark to Tel Aviv route from Israeli flag carrier El Al. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines flies to Tel Aviv from New York JFK and Miami, while Delta Air Lines currently operates services from Boston and New York JFK. The latter will also be re-launching its flights from Atlanta in March 2023.

What do you think of the legal action being taken against United Airlines? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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