It seems Delta and United that are not the only airlines abusing their ability to punish passengers for ridiculous reasons. This time, a New Jersey family had their birthday bash ruined after they kicked off of a Las Vegas-bound JetBlue flight over a birthday cake.
According to the NY Daily News, Cameron and Minta Burke along with their two children were flying from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas on May 3, planning to meet family there for Minta’s 40th birthday party.
The buttercream cake from Tonnie’s Minis bakery was included as part of their carry-on and placed in an overhead bin on the plane as the family took their seats in the last row of the plane.
That was when a flight attendant approached the family with a strange request.
“A flight attendant nicely asked me to remove the cake from that compartment, so I moved it to another one,” Cameron Burke, a speech pathologist, told the Daily News. “She then asked me to move it to underneath the seat in front of me, I did.”
The Root reported on the details of the incident:
Another flight attendant approached the family just moments later, berating her colleague and then turning her ire on the Burke family.
“She said I was being noncompliant,” Burke said. “I said, ‘Miss, have you been drinking?’ Because her behavior was irrational, and she stormed off.”
Another employee came up to the family and asked them to leave the flight. Burke refused, took out his cellphone and started recording.
In the video, his son can be heard sobbing, while his daughter says, “But we didn’t do anything, Daddy.”
“But we moved it, we followed the directions,” his son adds between his tears.
Eventually, two Port Authority officers were called to the plane. Burke said they did an investigation and found that there was nothing wrong. An officer can be seen on the video assuring that the family had done nothing wrong.
Even though they did nothing wrong, JetBlue made everyone leave the full flight in order to get the Burke family off. The family’s tickets and reward points were refunded and then Burke says his family was ordered to leave the JetBlue area.
The family’s luggage still went to Las Vegas and was collected by a family member.
JetBlue, claims the issue lies with the Burke family for storing the cake in a compartment designated for emergency and safety equipment. The airline accuses the family of refusing several requests to move the cake, even though the family says they moved it multiple times when asked to move it.
“The customers became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crewmember’s fitness to fly,” JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw told the Daily News. “After the customers refused to speak with a team leader about the situation, the Port Authority Police Department was called and the entire aircraft deplaned.”
Burke managed to book a United Airlines flight from Newark, N.J., the next day, but says he is still planning to file a lawsuit against JetBlue.
“I want the flight attendant fired; she has no business serving the public,” said Burke. “I hope JetBlue will retrain their staff and re-create the culture I once loved.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)