The letter was in response to a complaint filed
by an Israeli citizen, Eldad Gatt, after he
attempted to purchase a ticket online through
Kuwait Airways in 2013 from the
When the airline’s online booking system
precluded him from selecting
as his passport-issuing country, Mr. Gatt was
unable to purchase a ticket and subsequently
filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of
Transportation alleging unlawful discrimination.
“It is our duty to ensure that the
transportation system is free of discrimination.
I know how important protections against
discrimination are, and our Department will
stand firmly against it. Today, we are saying
“no” to discrimination against Israeli citizens
on flights between the
U.S. and the U.K.,” said U.S.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Any airline that wishes to operate in the U.S. should know that we will not
tolerate discrimination of any kind in our
skies,” Secretary Foxx continued.
Kuwait Airways states that it did not sell a
ticket to Mr. Gatt because of a Kuwaiti law
which states, in part, that
“…every natural or legal [Kuwaiti] is
prohibited to enter into an agreement,
personally or indirectly, with entities or
persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli
U.S. DOT concluded that
this is not a proper justification for the
denial of air transportation. The Department
notes that there is no question that a person
holding a valid Israeli passport can depart the United States and enter the United Kingdom.