Lately, airlines seem to be competing with each other to see who can get the worst publicity. Kicking individuals and entire families off planes for various reasons seems to be the norm. First, it was the overbooking fiasco where a man was literally dragged from the plane. Now, a family has been kicked off a flight because a birthday cake was deemed a “security risk.”
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Cameron Burke and his family were kicked off a flight that was heading to Las Vegas from JFK on May 3. Burke, his wife, who was celebrating her 40th birthday, and their two children were removed after two Port Authority officers became involved.
The whole situation came to a boiling point after the Burkes claimed they were given conflicting information by multiple flight attendants as to what they were to do with the buttercream birthday cake they were bringing on board.
At first, the flight attendant told Cameron that he would need to put the cake in the overhead bin above his seat, which he claimed he did without issue. Shortly after, a separate flight attendant told him he must put the cake on the floor, which again, he did.
The confrontation came to a head when Cameron told the New York Daily News that the flight attendants began talking and pointing in his family’s direction.
“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?” He said. “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.”
Eventually, two Port Authority officers were called and told the airline employees they saw “no wrongdoing” on the part of the Burkes.
In a video that was taken by Cameron to show the public how he and his family were mistreated, you could see his two children were scared and his little boy was on the verge of tears.
The entire plane was eventually deboarded to remove the family and their cake. JetBlue refunded the family’s tickets and reward points and the plane reboarded without the family. Cameron told the Daily Mail, he got another flight the next day with United Airlines.
JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw issued a statement shortly after the incident transpired in which the airline blamed the family, an incident which was clearly depicted differently in the video shown.
“The customers became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crew member’s fitness to fly,” he stated. “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.”
Cameron told multiple media outlets that he plans to take legal action against the airline. Who would like to predict which airline messes up next?
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 14, 2017