For Lufthansa, the fact that a total of 4 passengers were refused boarding on May 2022, 128 due to discrepancies about the mask requirement is proving to be extremely expensive. The carrier has to pay each passenger around $21.000 in compensation, for a total of around $2,6 million.
The passengers were on Lufthansa flight LH401 en route from New York JFK to Frankfurt am Main. There they should change to LH1334 to Budapest. These were mostly orthodox Jewish travelers. They were denied boarding the onward flight because the Lufthansa staff felt that the passengers did not want to comply with the German mask requirement.
The incident also led to the federal police being brought in, but they were only present and tried to mediate between the travelers and the Lufthansa ground staff. The passengers were informed on the spot that they "knew exactly" why they were excluded from further carriage. This did not mean their Jewish faith, but the fact that many did not wear masks. CEO Carsten Spohr also responded to this in a subsequent statement.
Nevertheless, the incident caused an international sensation, because Jewish passengers who were not part of the tour group at all were also excluded. Lufthansa is said to have decided purely on the basis of name and appearance, which brought heavy criticism to the carrier.
The 128 people excluded from the flight did not want to accept Lufthansa's questionable behavior and took action against the carrier. Germany's largest airline has now agreed to a comparison. This stipulates that each disfellowshipped person will be paid compensation of US$ 21.000. Overall, the incident cost the Kranich Group about $2,6 million.