A New York family was removed from a JetBlue Airlines flight without proper explanation after their toddler began kicking a passenger’s seat in front of them.
Tamir Raanan, his wife, Mandy Ifrah, and their three children were in their seats, ready to return home to Brooklyn, when the one-year-old baby, sitting on her mother’s lap, started to wail and kick the seat in front of them, an attorney for the family was quoted as saying in a report by The Washington Post.
The incident, which occurred on 21 June, has been gaining a lot of traction online in the past week after video of the argument between airline officials and the family went viral.
Ifrah said she apologised to the passenger, but the two "exchanged words" before the passenger moved to a different seat, according to abc7chicago. "She kicked her chair. She got up and moved to the next chair. She got a little bit annoyed and gave me a dirty look," Ifrah was quoted as saying in the report. Shortly after this, a flight attendant approached the family and told them to get off the plane.
The video shows Ifrah and her husband Tamir Raanan and their three children talking to a JetBlue supervisor who ordered them off their flight.
"What I need you to do right now is come with me outside the plane to have a discussion," the supervisor is seen saying in the video.
"I need to get back to New York. I need to get my kids back home. Did anything happen? No. Did anything physical happen? This is ridiculous," Ifrah retorted.
But the airline, in a report in Fortune, said that the situation at Fort Lauderdale had turned into “a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanities.” This prompted the authorities to kick the family out of the aircraft.
"The customers refused repeated requests and our crew members deplaned the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area and we provided a refund. We are investigating whether the customers' behaviour warrants restrictions on JetBlue travel, and we thank our crew members for their professional handling of this unfortunate incident," the airline spokesperson added in the report.
The family was told to find overnight accommodations before taking their re-booked flight the next morning, but JetBlue didn't unload their luggage from the plane, leaving the family without clothes or baby supplies, according to the abc7chicago report.
A tweet on Saturday by a JetBlue flier created quiet a stir online. The image accompanying the tweet shows a passenger, quiet possibly imitating the above mentioned toddler, sticking her feet through to the armrest of another passengers seat for the entire length of the flight.
Today, I flew on the set of a nightmare. pic.twitter.com/PNI4KmQvTG
— Jessie Char (@jessiechar) July 19, 2017
This person even opened and closed windows with his feet, much to the unhappiness and queasiness of the passenger in front of her, who gave an interview to CNN. This revolting incident raises questions about JetBlue's policy on annoying passengers and their methods of dealing with them.
Jessie Char, in a tweet comment, said that the passenger was not asked to leave or even warned for displaying a striking lack of personal boundaries. It seems logical that feet of that size, connected to a fully developed mind, should definitely invoke more of a reaction than a toddler's cries.
In May, a family was kicked off a JetBlue flight over a dispute about where to store a birthday cake.
Minta Burke, from New Jersey, was due to fly from New York to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday, when she along with her husband and two children were kicked off the flight from JFK before departure, said a report by The Independent. The airline said their “behaviour demonstrated a risk for additional escalation in air.”
Last year, JetBlue confused two unaccompanied children — and flew them home to the wrong families, like a twisted sequel version of Home Alone.
“On 17 August, two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic — one to New York JFK and one to Boston — each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination,” Tamara Young, a spokeswoman for JetBlue, said in a statement to CNN.
“Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations,” Young said. “While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for their families,” the report further quoted the airlines as saying.
Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 16:39:44 IST