A New York family of five is accusing JetBlue of removing them – along with their three small children – from a flight because a fellow passenger grew upset when their 1-year-old kicked the back of the seat.
The family has now hired a lawyer as a result of the July 2 incident for which the airline gives a very different story. The family’s attorney, David Templer, identified the family as Tamir Raanan and Mandy Ifrah Raanan to Local10, a Fort Lauderdale television station. You can watch two videos from the incident’s aftermath below.
The Brooklyn family was “heading home after attending a wedding when their 1-year-old daughter, Eden, began kicking a passenger’s seat. Ifrah said she apologized to the passenger, and they exchanged words before the passenger changed seats,” the television station reported, adding that the family alleges they were then ordered to leave the plane and were later told they were banned from flying on JetBlue while the incident was investigated.
JetBlue has accused the family of misbehavior that the family has adamantly denied.
“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,” JetBlue said in a statement. “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 first video picked up as an airline worker tells the family to get off the plane. You can watch the first part here:
“We can discuss this outside the plane,” the airline employee, who later gave his name as Armando Gonzalez, says.
“This is ridiculous,” the mother, a hairstylist, says. “I’m not getting off the plane. I have three kids. Where do you want me to go?”
The distraught mother claimed that another passenger told her to tie her daughter’s feet because the small child had kicked her chair.
Here’s the second part of the video:
In part two, the family confronts the airline employee and demands to know why they were kicked off the plane. “This is ridiculous,” the mother says. “I want to know what did you hear happened?”
“So, when I asked you kindly-” he starts.
The mother presses on, demanding to know what the airline worker was told happened before the family was asked to leave the aircraft. “I want my kids home to New York. My baby’s hungry. She’s starving,” she says.
Uniformed police officers can be seen in the hall.
“At this point, we’re going to give you your money back,” the employee says.
The father demands repeatedly to know “the reason” the family was asked to leave the plane in the first place.
“Why?” the mother says.
“You did not cooperate,” the employee says. “If you want more information-” he says as the agitated parents continue demanding to know the reason they were asked to leave the plane.
The employee says he’s not saying more and the family can call the airline.
“The lady said tie your daughter’s feet,” the mother insists.
A police officer told the parents it was the airline’s plane. “You’re not getting home tonight on JetBlue,” the officer said. “You guys have a recourse….take it up with JetBlue, sue them, you have all kinds of options.”
Toward the end of the video, the family is told their luggage is still on the plane.