New Jersey Family says they were kicked off JetBlue flight over birthday cake

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A family from New Jersey says they were kicked off a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas over a birthday cake they brought onto the plane, but the airline is telling a much different story about what happened.

It was a surprise trip last week for Burke, booked by her husband, Cameron. The Jersey City family said there was another surprise that came with the flight - and it wasn't the kind you celebrate.


"We were just so happy. (I) 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," said Minta Burke.

Burke's son is heard crying on the video, saying they followed directions and did nothing wrong.

The violation that JetBlue claimed was that a birthday cake, initially stored in the overhead bin, caused a security risk.

A flight attendant told Cameron he had to move it. He moved the cake, and placed it under the seat. They said the situation then escalated when a second flight attendant confronted the first flight attendant, and whatever was going on between them, he said, wasn't pretty.

"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.

Eventually police at John F. Kennedy International Airport were brought on board. Then, an announcement was made saying everyone had to get off. Passengers were clearly seen taking the Burke family's side.

JetBlue released a statement saying, "(The customer) refused multiple requests from the crew to remove the items... became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crewmember's fitness to fly."

"The passengers were very understanding. They knew that this was a strange situation," Cameron said.

"It's just crazy. I'm surprised. I'm surprised. I thought highly of JetBlue before," Minta added.

Cameron said he never cursed or raised his voice. He said at no point was his family told why they were being kicked off the plane. In fact, they were immediately refunded at the terminal, no questions asked, so they say it all doesn't seem to add up.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.