Family: JetBlue Kicked Them off Plane to Vegas over a Birthday Cake

The US airline JetBlue is to make the first regular commercial flight to Cuba in more than half a century starting August 31, 2016
© Getty/AFP/File Andrew Burton

A New Jersey family said they were kicked off a JetBlue flight for bringing a cake onto the plane.

Cameron Burke, his wife Minta, and their two children were scheduled to fly to Las Vegas out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on May 3 and had packed a buttercream cake to celebrate Minta’s 40th birthday, the Daily Mail reported.

But the mood quickly turned sour for the family when they got into a dispute with the flight attendants over the proper placement of the cake and were then asked to leave the flight.

“We were just so happy. Couldn’t wait to get to Las Vegas, and all of a sudden this occurred, and my two children are screaming, crying. They’re confused not knowing what’s going on – they were traumatized,” Minta Burke told WABC.

The family boarded their flight set to leave JFK and placed their cake in an overhead bin.

“A flight attendant nicely asked me to remove the cake from that compartment, so I moved it to another one,” Cameron told the New York Daily News. “She then asked me to move it to underneath the seat in front of me, I did.”

The situation escalated when another flight attendant started berating her colleague about not telling Cameron to put anything in the overhead bins, and then confronted Cameron.

“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? 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,” Cameron said.

Another airline employee asked Cameron to leave, and that is when Cameron started recording.

Port Authority police questioned the family, then left to speak to the flight attendants.

“I just want to know why,” Minta tells Cameron in the video. “Exactly!” he replies. “For a cake?”

An officer can be heard in the video telling a flight attendant that he did not “see any wrongdoing” on behalf of the family. The flight attendants then asked all passengers to exit the plane so that crew could remove the Burke family from the flight.

The family received a refund for their tickets and reward points while their luggage went to Las Vegas. The family arranged for Cameron’s mother-in-law to take their luggage.

JetBlue, however, maintains that the family is at fault for causing the disruption.

“The customers became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crew member’s fitness to fly,” JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw said in a statement.

Cameron said he booked a flight to Las Vegas out of Newark on United that left the next day and is looking to file a lawsuit against JetBlue.

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