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Someone Sued Lufthansa Because the Airline Didn’t Have His Kosher Meal. He Won.

A Brazilian court ruled in favor of a Brazilian man who suffered ‘moral damage’ after Lufthansa failed to provide him with the kosher meals he had specially ordered

Jonathan Zalman
March 30, 2016
Kentaro IEMOTO / Flickr
Kentaro IEMOTO / Flickr
Kentaro IEMOTO / Flickr
Kentaro IEMOTO / Flickr

On March 21, 2012, Isaac Kopfler boarded a flight from Zurich, Switzerland, to São Paulo, Brazil, where he calls home. Kopfler had ordered kosher meals—which, for the official record, are typically warmer and more delicious (read: saltier) that the regularly-served meals—for the 14-hour flight ahead. But Lufthansa didn’t have ’em. On Monday—that is, over four years later—Kopfler was awarded $1,400 in damages by a Brazilian court, reported JTA, who unearthed this gem.

In a statement, Lufthansa regretted the matter, chalking it up to a technical error, and said it had offered Kopfler frequent flier mileage as compensation. In the end, however, Kopfler received a different form of justice: cash.

“The passenger has the right to receive what he paid for. It is a consumer relationship and, unlike what the airline claims, the nonexistence of kosher food, despite having been requested in advance, is not an accessory matter,” according to the court decision. The kosher meal “is of great importance and is based on religious principles,” it said.

The airline had caused Kopfler, who reportedly fasted for the duration of the flight, “moral damage.”

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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