Posted: 6:54 am Monday, May 15th, 2017
By Eric "Hollywood" Davis STAR 94.5
In yet another story shedding light on the seeming continuous tension between travelers and flight crew, a New Jersey family is claiming JetBlue forced them off a plane at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City — over a dispute over a birthday cake.
According to the family, the incident took place earlier this month, when Cameron Burke traveled with his two children, Cameron Jr., 7, and Camille, 9, and his wife, Minta, to celebrate her 40th birthday in Las Vegas on May 3. After bringing the cake onboard and reportedly receiving unclear instructions about how and where to store the cake, a disagreement ensued between flight crew and the Burke family.
Video of portions of the incident were recorded by Cameron Burke and released via ABC 7 News.
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 14, 2017
JetBlue has pointed blame squarely on the Burkes. According to a spokesperson from the airline, the family stored the cake in a compartment reserved for emergency equipment. “The customers became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew and made false accusations about a crew member’s fitness to fly,” stated JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw.
Burke sees things a little differently, claiming no one in his family raised their voices and they were never told why they had to leave the plane. As Burke described to ABC 7, it appears the situation escalated when the flight crew couldn’t agree on what to do with the cake.
“You could see the gestures — then she was pointing to her, did you tell him he couldn’t put anything in the overhead compartment?” Burke explained. “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 noncompliant, then I said ‘ma’am, had you been drinking?’ because her behavior was not normal.”
Even after airport police were called in and decided no wrongdoing had occurred, the JetBlue crew ordered all passengers to exit the plane.
“The video circulating does not depict the entire incident and only starts after the objectionable behavior occurred and law enforcement were called,” an airline spokesperson told HuffPost on Sunday.
“The Captain determined the customers’ behavior demonstrated a risk for additional escalation in air and would not be allowed to fly. A full refund was given. The remaining customers re-boarded and the flight departed without further interruption,” the airline’s statement continued.