Court fines airline for ’emotional suffering’ to passengers denied kosher food

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Court fines airline for ’emotional suffering’ to passengers denied kosher food

Brazilian judge rules American Airlines must pay £1,300 after making Jewish customers travel for 10 hours without food

American Airlines (Photo by Ross Sokolovski on Unsplash)
American Airlines (Photo by Ross Sokolovski on Unsplash)

A judge in Brazil fined American Airlines to the tune of £1,300 ($1,759) for not providing kosher meals for two passengers who had been assured they would receive it on long-distance flights.

One of the passengers had gone without food for 10 hours from New York to São Paulo. The other fasted for a total of nine hours on two flights, first from Madrid to Philadelphia and then again from Chicago to London, the Brazilian law news site ConJur reported Wednesday.

American Airlines “failed to provide the services” it had promised to render, the judge of the 23rd Chamber of Civil Court of the Justice Tribunal of Sao Paulo, José Marcos Marrone, wrote in his ruling.

The plaintiffs were not named in the report. Marrone also wrote that, beyond the failure to live up to the agreement, the firm caused the plaintiffs “emotional suffering” by serving food to virtually everyone else on the flight.

Airlines are not legally obligated to provide food of any kind in the United States or Brazil. However, both countries have consumer protection laws that can lead to penal action against service providers once they commit in a transaction to deliver a certain product.

On its website, American Airlines offers 15 of what it calls “special meals,” including kosher food.

In the fine print for the kosher food option, the airline stipulates that passengers from Brazil can only get kosher food if they’re leaving from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. The only other stipulation is that the airline is unable to provide kosher meals to passengers leaving from India.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: