JetBlue has tried to justify the behavior of its flight attendants who forcibly removed a family with two young kids from its flight to Las Vegas over a seemingly minor issue. The family had bought a birthday cake from a well-known bakery and had kept the cake overhead. A flight attendant asked the family to keep the packet on the ground.
The issue should have been resolved there as the family complied with the ‘nice’ request and kept the packet containing expensive cake underneath the seat as ordered. But another JetBlue flight attendant intervened, causing the deplaning of all the passengers and then eviction of the family from the flight with crying toddlers.
The deplaning of all the passengers seemed completely uncalled for as the airport security officials had given a clean chit to the family, saying everything was fine onboard and there was no need to take action against anyone.
Many such incidents go unreported due to lack of evidence. But thanks to mobile camera, these incidents are being increasingly recorded by the harassed passengers or other co-passengers as happened in the case of Vietnamese American doctor who was thrown out of the United Airlines flight last month.
The incident with Jersey City’s Burke family happened earlier this month. But it was only due to the video footage that came to limelight only now. Cameron Burke, his wife and their two kids were thrown off a jet due to leave New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport. The dispute was merely about where to keep the case. The family says that the attendant asked them to keep the cake on the floor just in front of their seat and they complied with it. Burke’s wife was turning 40 and the husband had given her a surprise by planning this birthday party.
The children can be seen crying and wondering as to what was happening. They were bewildered by the turn of event. The kids were expecting a great time on the flight and in Las Vegas and the entire episode left them shell-shocked. Minta Burke, Cameron’s wife and mother of their two children was quoted by ABC7NY as saying, “We were just so happy, couldn’t wait to get to Las Vegas…And all of a sudden, this occurred, and my two children are screaming, crying. They’re confused, not knowing what’s going on. They were traumatized.”
Cameron says he was surprised by the flight attendant’s attitude. “You know, you could see the gestures, then she was pointing to her, ‘did you tell him he couldn’t put anything in the overhead compartment?…I had approached them, and I said everything was fine. And she said, ‘Sir, this does not involve you.’ When she told me I had been non-compliant, then I said, ‘Ma’am, had you been drinking?’ Because her behavior was not normal.”