Family Booted off JetBlue Flight After Child Kicks Seat

Jul 19, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Another week, another controversial viral airline incident. This time JetBlue was caught up in the mix, only two months after getting flack for removing a family off a flight over a birthday cake. Now, video has emerged of a family of five being kicked off a JetBlue flight after one of their children kicked the seat in front of them. While the incident occurred on June 21, the footage is just appearing now. The events happened as follows:

Tamir Raanan and Mandy Ifrah were traveling from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to New York (JFK) with their three children, ages one, five and eight. After boarding the flight and taking their seats, the one year-old kicked the seat in front of her. The passenger, whose seat was kicked, turned around and made some impolite comments to the family, according to Ifrah.

“She is about to have a bottle and kicked the lady in front of us. The lady huffed and puffed. She got up and said, ‘You should hold your baby’s feet,’” Ifrah told The New York Post. “‘She is a baby — what would you like me to do? I’m sorry, and I am trying my best to control the situation right now.’”

The passenger then switched seats, everyone relaxed and the situation seemed to be resolved, said Ifrah. At that point, JetBlue’s staff got involved and that’s when things got complicated. Ranaan began filming the interaction between the family and a JetBlue employee, Armando Gonzalez, who boarded the plane. Gonzalez asked the family to come off the plane and discuss the incident, which they responded to as “ridiculous” and they told Gonzalez that they weren’t leaving the aircraft.

Eventually, the family complied and the next video shows them talking with Gonzalez and law enforcement in the jetway; at that point all of the passengers were forced to deplane because of the event. Ifrah and Ranaan continued to question Gonzalez about why they were getting kicked off and how they were going to get home. Gonzalez replied: “You were removed from the airplane because you were not cooperating with me … at this point if you want more information about the incident, you’ll have to call 1-800-JetBlue.”

Towards the end of the video, deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office stepped in and told the family that they would not be getting on a JetBlue flight that night.

Today, JetBlue issued this statement regarding the incident:

“After a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanities against a nearby customer, the aircraft door was reopened and our airports team politely asked the customers to step off to discuss the situation. The customers refused repeated requests and our crewmembers deplaned the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area and we provided a refund. The customers were not removed due to the actions of their children. We are investigating whether the customers’ behavior warrants restrictions on JetBlue travel and we thank our crewmembers for their professional handling of this unfortunate incident.”

The couple said that they didn’t receive their luggage until a week after the flight and that they had to stay in Florida for the night without any of their belongings — including clothes and baby supplies, according to a statement from the couple’s lawyer. They paid $2,000 for new tickets to fly back to New York the next day and were refunded just $500 from JetBlue.

According to The New York Post, JetBlue has banned Ifran and Raanan from flying the carrier. The couple is looking at taking legal action against the carrier for emotional distress and defamation of character, according to their lawyer.

H/T: The New York Post

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.