At best these guys are clueless and insensitive; at worst, they are trouble-makers. When I traveled for business, I would find a place in the airport and put on my tefillin and daven. With the need to get to airports early for security, I cannot see the need for doing this on a plane. But given the sensitivity to security on plane and the fact the media has reported on incidents where tefillin wearers we stopped by airline crews, why didn't these guys say something to the cabin crew before they started. It sounds as if a little menschlikite on their part could have avoided this incidnet.
Passport control employees at Ben Gurion airport to strike between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M. (Haaretz)