An African-American family is vowing to sue JetBlue airlines, claiming they were kicked off a flight because their birthday cake was deemed a “security risk.”
Cameron Burke, along with his wife and two children, were flying from New York to Las Vegas when the incident took place.
The family and airline crewmembers reportedly clashed over how a birthday cake was stored.
The Burkes had allegedly put the cake in an overhead bin which is only to be used for emergency equipment. The airline crew claims that despite being told to remove the desert from there, the family refused to comply with their request after which they became “agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crewmember’s fitness to fly.”
The airline staff says the cake being in that specific compartment “demonstrated a risk for additional escalation in air” and all passengers were made to disembark the plane.
However, the Burkes have denied these allegations and a video uploaded on social media shows Burke calmly talking to a Port Authority police officer. His daughter, captured in the video can be heard saying: “Daddy I feel scared.”
Burke is also heard telling the officer that the cake has been placed on the floor. The officer then tells the family that they are not in the wrong but according to the airline’s rules, they would have to rebook their flight.
“A flight attendant nicely asked me to remove the cake from that compartment, so I moved it to another one,'” said Burke.
“She then asked me to move it to underneath the seat in front of me, I did.”
But according to him, another flight attendant intervened and confronted her colleague who was dealing with the family.
“I had approached them, and I said everything was fine, and she said, ‘Sir, this does not involve you,’” Burke said the flight attendant told him. “When she told me I had been non-compliant, then I said, ‘Ma’am, had you been drinking?’ because her behavior was not normal.”
However, contradicting the family’s claims, the airline says the Burkes only started behaving well when a passenger started filming the incident.
“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.
Although the family’s tickets and reward points were refunded, Burke is now suing the airline and also wants the flight attendant who dealt with them to be fired.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters