Airline to pay out for barring customer

A MIDDLE Eastern airline has agreed to pay substantial damages and legal costs to a woman after she was refused a ticket on a flight from London to Bangkok — because she held an Israeli passport.

Mandy Blumenthal issued a claim against Kuwait Airways, where she claimed damages for racial discrimination and harassment.

It came after she was filmed at Heathrow Airport by Jewish Human Rights Watch trying to buy a ticket at the Kuwait Airways’ desk.

“I detest every kind of racism and it is racist to single out the only Jewish state,” said London-based Mrs Blumenthal.

An airline clerk told her that Israeli passport holders are not permitted to travel on Kuwait Airways.

Ms Blumenthal, who lived in Eilat for many years, asked whether any other nationality was forbidden from travelling and was told no.

She recalled: “The clerk said he was ‘just following orders’. I’ve heard that phrase before.

“It felt like somebody had put a knife in me because it is was so personal, even though he kept saying it wasn’t.

“It is a business boycotting Israelis and it is disgusting that it is allowed — it has to be highlighted.

“The whole world went crazy when Trump said he was banning entry to America for people from six Muslim countries, yet when a business says ‘no’ to Israelis, the whole world is silent.”

UK Lawyers for Israel assisted Ms Blumenthal’s claim by arranging her legal representation.

She said: “We are so lucky to have UK Lawyers for Israel and I don’t think many people know what an amazing job they do. They did it for free, too.

“I believe this is an excellent first step against Kuwait Airways.

“I want its racist policy stopped or they should not be able to operate from England.”

Nobody was available when the Jewish Telegraph contacted Kuwait Airways for comment.

Ms Blumenthal is currently preparing to move back to Israel with her partner, Manchester-born lawyer Mark Lewis.

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