Passengers on board an El Al Israel Airlines flight from Tel Aviv to London Heathrow were in for quite a surprise yesterday when they were greeted by male flight attendants dressed up in drag. But there was a very good reason for this unusual look – it was one way for El Al to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim – a particular lively holiday where everyone can go just a little crazy.
It certainly looks like everyone took it in the spirit it was intended, with passengers clapping along as the dragged-up cabin crew launched into a musical number during the five-hour flight from the Holy Land to Europe.
According to the official Israeli tourism website, “Purim is one of the happiest and most joyous holidays in Jewish tradition”.
“This is a holiday that allows even the most serious Torah scholars to get caught up in the spirit of amusement, and enjoy the carnival atmosphere.” It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the book of Esther.
Jewish people took to wearing costumes as a way of celebrating Purim back in the Middle Ages so drag queen flight attendants seem like a pretty natural route to go down.
Not that El Al is the first airline to have drag queens entertaining passengers at 35,000 feet. Last year, Virgin Atlantic hosted a drag show as part of its Pride celebrations. The flight was staffed entirely by LGBTQ crew and featured an onboard DJ, Drag-Queen Bingo, as well as a Judy Garland singalong – truly cliche but lots of fun.
What do you think? Would you be up for more drag queen flight attendants?
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.