Published on : Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Minta Burke, along with her husband and two children were seated at the very back of the plane and had brought a birthday cake with them. The dispute arose when the cabin crew gave conflicting ideas about where to store it.
Cameron Burke, Minta’s husband said that they put the cake in the overhead locker above their seats, but then they were asked to move it. After moving it to another compartment, the flight attendant again asked to them to move the cake underneath the seat in front. The dispute continued when another flight attendant arrived to tick off her colleague and accused the Burkes of being “non-compliant”. Burke, because of the conflicting behaviour asked the attendant ‘Miss, have you been drinking?’ and the next thing he knew was asking the family to leave the plane. When they refused, crew called the police.
The five-minute video by Burke shows the cake at his feet as his son cries that the family hasn’t done anything wrong and Minta Burke is on the phone, looking shocked but calm, beside her daughter.
The police, however was cooperative and said that the family hasn’t done anything wrong but requested to show their ID as it got reported to them.
JetBlue has said it was the captain’s decision to eject the family. Other passengers on the plane were studiously ignoring the incident at the back during the video and no one came to the family’s defence.
Perhaps keen to avoid any more awkward videos in the same week that United Airlines told crew to assume they are on camera at all times, the JetBlue crew then asked all passengers to disembark the plane, in order to eject the Burkes. Although the family got their tickets refunded, their luggage remained on the flight which was collected by their family member waiting for their arrival on Vegas.
In a statement, JetBlue said that the family had initially stored the cake in an overhead compartment used for emergency equipment – the very first and last lockers in a plane are often reserved for this – and that they had refused several requests to move it.