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JetBlue Boots Passengers Over Birthday Cake

A dispute between cabin crew and the Burke family over how to stow the dessert resulted in the group being removed from a flight from New York to Las Vegas.

There was a bit of bother over buttercream on a Las Vegas-bound JetBlue flight earlier this month when a New Jersey family was deplaned for the improper storage of a birthday cake. Cameron Burke had boarded the flight along with his two children and wife on 3 May; they were headed to Sin City to celebrate her 40th birthday and had purchased a cake to mark the occasion.

However, the Metro reports, a dispute quickly arose between Burke and cabin crew over where the cake should be stored during the flight. Burke says that he followed staff orders as to how the cake should be stowed for the journey, but the carrier claims that the dessert was in fact stored inappropriately in a bin intended for safety equipment only. Furthermore, JetBlue says that, when asked to move the cake, the family became upset.

Cameron explained the incident to the New York Daily News, saying, “A flight attendant nicely asked me to remove the cake from that compartment, so I moved it to another one. She then asked me to move it to underneath the seat in front of me, I did.”

However, the outlet reports that a second member of cabin crew then became involved, criticizing her colleague for her handling of the situation. At this point, a third member of JetBlue staff asked Burke and his family to leave the plane.

Eventually, two police officers from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey boarded the flight to investigate the matter, but found no evidence of wrongdoing.

While the group’s tickets and rewards points were refunded, they had to wait till the next day to fly out to Vegas. Burke says that he intends to take legal action against the carrier.

A spokesman for the airline reiterated that the Burke family had ignored requests to move the cake and explained, “Federal regulations require that the emergency equipment remain unobstructed during the flight […] After the customers refused to speak with a team leader about the situation, the Port Authority Police Department was called and the entire aircraft deplaned.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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amanuensis May 16, 2017

Huh, there was no place in Vegas that they could have bought a birthday cake after landing? Or no place in New Jersey where they could have purchased a hard plastic storage container for the cake?