A New Jersey family’s surprise birthday celebration turned tragic when they were allegedly removed from a JetBlue flight over where to store a birthday cake, according to the Washington Post.
Cameron Burke reportedly planned a surprise Las Vegas trip for his wife’s, Minta, birthday. Their relatives were already in Las Vegas, waiting for the Burke’s to arrive. According to JetBlue airlines, “All customers are welcome to bring onboard one carry-on and one personal item, including cakes, within the size limits.”
When Cameron and his wife, as well as their two children, boarded the JetBlue flight on May 3, they brought a buttercream cake along with them and placed it in an overhead bin. Afterward, a JetBlue flight attendant kindly asked Cameron to remove the cake. “She then asked me to move it to underneath the seat in front of me,” he said. “I did.”
Another flight attendant intervened and pointed at the first flight attendant while asking, “Did you tell him he couldn’t put anything in the overhead compartment?” At that point, Cameron said he “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.”
When the JetBlue flight attendant allegedly told the Burkes to leave the plane, Cameron pulled out his cellular device and began recording and reportedly posted the footage on social media, which has since gone viral.
Doug McGraw, a JetBlue spokesperson, stated that the video of the New Jersey family allegedly being kicked off their flight over a cake does not depict what transpired before law enforcement officers were called.
In a statement, JetBlue airlines said, “The customers became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crew member’s fitness to fly. They also refused to speak with a team leader about the situation.”
The video shows Minta and her two children sitting on the plane. Cameron is presumably sitting in the seat across from his family, recording the incident. An officer is heard asking if the issue had been resolved before stating that “no one is in any trouble.” The Burke’s young son, who is seen crying uncontrollably, tells the officer “Yes, it’s [cake] over there.”
The mother, who continuously shakes her head in disbelief, tells the officer that the cake is on the floor, and her husband stated that he had already moved the birthday cake.
The Burkes’ daughter subsequently tells her father that she feels “scared.”
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 14, 2017
After a law enforcement officer discusses the incident with JetBlue flight attendants in the background, the officer walks over to the Burkes and says, “No one’s in any trouble. Unfortunately, it got reported to us. No one did anything wrong, okay? Everyone’s going to be okay. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to rebook everyone… We’re trying to avoid that.”
Through tears, the Burkes’ son turns to the officer and says he’s “sorry” before placing his head on his seat.
“No, buddy, you’re okay, all right?” the officer said to the child. “Don’t cry. It’s all right.”
The video does not show what occurred before Port Authority police officers arrived on the JetBlue flight.
No arrests were made, but McGraw stated that it was the captains’ decision to kick the family off the JetBlue flight. He went on to say that “they were fully refunded and the remaining customers were made to go through the boarding process again.”
The Burkes were able to book another flight to Las Vegas the following day through United Airlines. The family now wants the JetBlue flight attendant to be fired. Cameron says, “She has no business serving the public. I hope JetBlue will re-train their staff and recreate the culture I once loved.”
[Featured Image by Minta-Royster-Burke/Facebook]