I fly mutiple times a week nearly every week for work. It has happened a few times that I had to travel on a minor fast day and I was at times surprised to see visibly religious people eating and drinking on planes and in airport lounges.

Let’s assume these people were traveling for the sake of earning a living or for other permitted reasons, and that they were normally healthy.

Are there particular lifting of fasting restrictions if traveling for a permitted purpose? Are there poskim who would allow eating/drinking lechathila? Does it make a difference if the fast happens on the day after the “real” date because of shabbat?

  • "visibly religious people" - If you're referring to people dressed liked Hareidim (black hat, frock, beard, payot, etc.) be aware that there are quite a few fakers out there who aren't Jewish but dress this way so that they can get "favored" seating. E.g., they claim that they cannot sit next to an immodestly dressed woman. Well, that definition alone can get them a first / business class seat, sometimes. – DanF Feb 12 at 18:52
  • Reminds me of the time I sat next to a Muslim on an airplane, and he told me that if they travel during Ramadan, they're exempt from fasting that day. thenational.ae/uae/… – IsraelReader Feb 12 at 19:20
  • Maybe they were diabetic or something? – Heshy Feb 12 at 23:45

Give these strangers benefit of the doubt. They may be transferring flights and have come from somewhere else where the fast has ended for them, but not where you are, now.

See this for further explanation.

  • I am not sure what you mean. The fast ends at night local time. If they eat by day then there is no way they can have ended their fast. Or maybe I’m missing the point of your answer – mbloch Feb 12 at 20:53
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    Also I was asking more generally. Not so much about these specific travelers. They are only the starting point of my question – mbloch Feb 12 at 20:53
  • @mbloch Did you read the two answers? The fast ends when it becomes dark, wherever they are at that time. Say it was dark in the middle of the flight, but on a westbound flight they enter an earlier time zone where the fast isn't over (for you). Your question specifies nothing about where these people came from. The rule in that answer applies to anyone in that situation. – DanF Feb 12 at 20:59
  • I did read the four answers. But I do not see how they apply here. If you fly westward, time moves forward, just slower. You never to get arrive somewhere where it is 17 Tamuz where you have a 17 Tamuz behind you. I exclude dateline issues which are not relevant for most Jews. The answers apply when you fly eastward and finish your fast quicker (happened to me once on London-Hong Kong, shorter fast but tough flight with dehydration and no eating or drinking) (and I didn't downvote - appreciate your trying to answer) – mbloch Feb 12 at 21:14

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