Ketita (ketita) wrote in bad_service,

Old suck from days gone by

My grandmother was at our house over the weekend, and shared this story with us. It literally made my jaw drop (EDIT for clarity. should there have been a hypothetical lawsuit, which there wasn't, it would be against the agency (not the airline), which as a religious Jewish company was supposed to cater to the needs of their religious Jewish clients, who are paying them money specifically because they are a religious Jewish company, and thus more expensive than a normal company, because they deal with the complications involved in traveling as a religious Jew /edit. also, that sort of service would probably turn into a lawsuit nowadays...) but here it is. Mind you, this happened over 40 years ago, so the details are rather sketchy.

Some background: I come from a family of religious Jews. The relevant part of that is that religious Jews keep the Sabbath from sunset on Friday until the stars come out on Saturday night. During this time we are forbidden from using electricity and various other things.

So my grandmother and her two then-young sons (my father and uncle) went traveling in Europe, with a company owned by religious Jews. The company arranged a flight out of Antwerpen for their group (which contained several more religious families) to return to the United States earlyish on Friday - as in, early enough that they would land several hours before the Sabbath came in.

But the flight was delayed, so their oh-so-helpful travel organizer put everybody on a new flight - one which left very shortly before the Sabbath entered (Antwerpen time), and landed well into the Sabbath East Coast time (and he very well knew it, being religious himself). This meant that a good chunk of the group couldn't be on this flight, and were stranded in Antwerpen.

When they came and complained to him (since they were completely unprepared for that eventuality), his reaction was basically "I don't care". The whole group raised hue and cry, and camped out on his doorstep until he finally grudgingly arranged lodgings over the Sabbath with the local Jewish community (lodgings which didn't include meals, by the way, and there were several other examples of his assholery). They spent a lean Sabbath there, and were very thankful to be on their airplane to the States when it was over.
Tags: mod comment, mod freeze, overheard/secondhand, travel agency, wank
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