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JetBlue Kicks Us Off Flight: Any Recourse?

JetBlue Kicks Us Off Flight: Any Recourse?

Old Jan 23, 13, 6:48 am
  #1  
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JetBlue Kicks Us Off Flight: Any Recourse?

My wife and I (who are over 60 and hardly security threats) were kicked off a JetBlue flight from JFK to ORD Monday night by a vindictive flight attendant.

The jetway was jammed because the plane was full and excess luggage was being carried off: too many people with large carry-ons. My wife and I both had underseat bags as our sole luggage -- yet as we started to board, she chose to holler at my wife for carrying what she thought was a big roll-on. We corrected her, told her she had a bad attitude and that we weren't the problem passengers of the night, and when she approached us after we were seated and minding our own business my wife told her she didn't want to speak to her without an apology.

This was enough for her to complain to the captain, and security came to escort us off, saying we had been deemed "risks to the flight". We were offered rebooking the following morning (with no comp hotel), but as we both had to be at work in the AM, we wound up purchasing last-minute one-way tickets on Delta to the tune of $500.

Yesterday, I read this feature article from Huffington Post showing kicking people off flights seems to be a trend with JetBlue:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-...b_2512830.html

Any suggestions what to do now that we're back home? Is there a better way to contact JetBlue than the web customer service form? Appreciate any help!

>>Brent
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Old Jan 23, 13, 7:44 am
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SOunds like you did not handle this well. I would think at your age you would know better unless you have never flown before. And refusing to speak to her without an apology might be considered a safety issue under dire circumstances. Sorry to say no sympathy from me.
I brought up three children and told every one of them : if a police officer stops you for any reason...answer "yes sir", no matter what. Sometimes it's not wise to argue for any reason.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 7:44 am
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I won't say they should have kicked you off the flight by any means, but a simple "no, my bag fits under the seat" would have sufficed. I think telling the FA she has a bad attitude and demanding an apology is a bit much on your part.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 8:00 am
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Unhappy

Originally Posted by copyace View Post
My wife and I (who are over 60 and hardly security threats) were kicked off a JetBlue flight from JFK to ORD Monday night by a vindictive flight attendant.

The jetway was jammed because the plane was full and excess luggage was being carried off: too many people with large carry-ons. My wife and I both had underseat bags as our sole luggage -- yet as we started to board, she chose to holler at my wife for carrying what she thought was a big roll-on. We corrected her, told her she had a bad attitude and that we weren't the problem passengers of the night, and when she approached us after we were seated and minding our own business my wife told her she didn't want to speak to her without an apology.

This was enough for her to complain to the captain, and security came to escort us off, saying we had been deemed "risks to the flight". We were offered rebooking the following morning (with no comp hotel), but as we both had to be at work in the AM, we wound up purchasing last-minute one-way tickets on Delta to the tune of $500.

Yesterday, I read this feature article from Huffington Post showing kicking people off flights seems to be a trend with JetBlue:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-...b_2512830.html

Any suggestions what to do now that we're back home? Is there a better way to contact JetBlue than the web customer service form? Appreciate any help!

>>Brent
You learned a hard lesson. If you have trouble with an FA, complain after the flight not during it. And whatever you do, do not escalate the situation.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 8:20 am
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I am going to disagree I think the OP has a case here. The Captain screwed the pooch, he should have come out of the cockpit and talked to the OP and assessed the situation. Instead, he passed the buck and bounced the OP. So they all screwed up.

The FA or whom ever started the incident by hollering at the PAX. They would probably get about the same response from me if I was hollered at. Of course the OP did not help the situation by telling the FA they had a bad attitude. Something more along the lines of - I do not appreciate being hollered at, if you need me to do something like gate check my bag please ask respectfully. That said my bag will fit under my seat. Thank you. The second comment was not needed.

That said had the pilot come out and dealt with the situation with perhaps a warning to the OP and FA that everyone needed to check their attitude a bit then everyone could have flown.

Given the above I would send the bill for the other tickets to JetBlue for IDB, as well as sending a letter to DOT. In the end if not paid it would be off to small claims court.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 9:13 am
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Please follow as the thread moves to the forum dedicated to discussion of Jet Blue. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by emrdoc View Post
You learned a hard lesson. If you have trouble with an FA, complain after the flight not during it. And whatever you do, do not escalate the situation.

This, exactly.

I can't possibly see how you could have expected any other outcome.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 3:56 pm
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Jetblue response:

While I won't speak to the specifics of any particular incident, when our crew sees indication that a confrontation on the ground is at risk of escalation, they may elect to remove a customer. In an enclosed cabin at 30,000 feet, an escalated event can distract and interfere with crewmember duties, and potentially risk the personal safety of those around.

We file reports and look into any incident where a customer is removed from an aircraft, but will support our crewmembers in these decisions.

Additionally - there are specific FAA regulations on the matter: Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121.580: No person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard an aircraft being operated under this part.
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Old Jan 23, 13, 8:55 pm
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1) They are pretty responsive to their web form
2) They owe you at least the two one-way segments you didn't fly.

I would call, and turn around the story. Don't blame the FA, blame your wife
Tell them your wife was so upset and crying that you had no choice but to buy Delta tix.
It ruined your trip, and since they owe you the two one ways, is there anything they could do so you can take your wife on another trip, since this one was ruined?
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Old Jan 25, 13, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by RenHoek View Post
I would call, and turn around the story. Don't blame the FA, blame your wife
Tell them your wife was so upset and crying that you had no choice but to buy Delta tix.
Indeed...go from picking a fight with the FAs to lying about the circumstances when complaining about it. Definitely a classy move.
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Old Jan 25, 13, 11:24 am
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Ok, this response is on my own personal feelings on this subject and don't at all reflect how Jetblue will or would handle the situation nor does it condone or refute the actions of the crewmembers or customers involved. It's just my own personal feelings on this and nothing more...that being said...

With bag fees being the new norm in the industry we, flight attendants, have seen a huge surge in the amount of items that customers are bringing onboard along with a lack of consideration once onboard the aircraft between customers. Basically what I am saying is that customers have taken to not listening to our boarding announcement. Now I'm not saying everybody, 99% of our customers are wonderful and take notice of our announcements and help us out. Winter is an extremely difficult time for us in the cabin. People are packing more and on top of that we see a surge in jackets, for obvious reasons. Our announcements instruct our customers to place their small bags on the floor and save the overheads for customers with rollerbags and hold on to the jackets. I like to take it a step further and allow customers to put jackets in the overhead as long as they can go on top on bags already in the bins. I know people hate holding on to them so I try to help out. Now, I'm usually in the back of the plane watching the entire boarding process go down so I get to see everything. I'll make that announcement then watch customers put a tiny backpack in the overhead along with a roller and lay their coat out taking up an entire bin for themselves. I say my announcement about bags and jackets several times mind you and a vast majority just didn't hear me the first time and happily take down their small bag or jacket the second or third time I say my speech. I'll usually make note of those that do and try to find space for them once I get everybody onboard since they are trying to help. 9 times out of 10 I can get 100 customers, I only fly the 190, and all of their carry-ons inside the cabin without having to gate check a single bag, I was a whiz at Tetris growing up and found a way to fit a square peg in a round hole. Plus flying it for almost 7 straight years I know what I can get and how to rotate all the items in the bins to maximize their contents all while still getting the bin to close. Now if I'm in the front and I don't have a strong advocate on the PA reminding people what to stow where and what to do with jackets those bins will fill in record time and we start swimming in carry-ons that need to be check. This slows us down and can delay us as we have to start denying rollers and other large bags as people come on and wait for an agent to bring gate check tags. It can get overwhelming at times, especially if people start to give us hassle about checking items.

Now I don't know the details of the OP's claims or the details from the crew. The Flight Attendant could have been having a bad day and adding all the gate checks to it just made things worse and how the OP responded to your wife was just the icing. I just don't know so I can't speak to that but here's my thoughts. If I'm having an extremely bad day I try my very hardest not to take it out on the customers. Chances are they are an innocent party in all of it so why punish you guys. However we are all human and sometimes out emotions get the better of us no matter how hard we try. If I was having a rough day and I was told by a customer I had a bad attitude, I doubt I would remove them but i'm pretty sure you wouldn't be in my good graces. I've had bad days before and customers have noticed it and the best thing tat they did for me was make a joke. It lightens the mood and drops the tension. I'll usually joke back and that will release some of the pressre and get me motivated again. However if somebody told me I had a bad attitude then refused to talk to me, I still don't think I would have them removed but I think they would be further down on my graces list. In 7 years at Jetblue I have only had 3 people removed. One guy was extremely intoxicated and falling over and the other 2 threatened personal violence against me. So as you can see it takes a lot to force me to remove somebody. I can usually handle any situation.

I'm not blaming the OP here either. It seems like a systematic failure by almost every party involved. Again i'm only speaking for myself but should the flight attendant and captain had the OP removed? I can't say as I wasn't there so to speak on that would be only my opinion. Should the OP have said what he said? Maybe, maybe not, again I wasn't there. The one thing that I can say is that a good attitude and a sense of humor and understanding can go a long way. Both crews and customers can live by this. Flying can be extremely difficult some times. Security, delays, missed flights, crews on short rest, crews having a rough day and a million other things that can go wrong can put us down the wrong path. I think we call can benefit from remembering that we all have bad days and try putting ourselves in the other person's shoes.

Ok that's my $.02 on the subject, feel free to flame away at me
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Old Jan 25, 13, 11:44 am
  #12  
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And a very valuable $.02 it is, JBFA. Thanks for this perspective.
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Old Jan 25, 13, 3:55 pm
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+1 Well said JetBlueFA. Definitely have to hold your composure on the job and not let your personal problems interfere with the job (assuming that was the case here). I'm sure if the FA was frequently in that mood that others will complain as well, but like you said, it usually takes a lot to get kicked off the plane.
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Old Jan 25, 13, 4:11 pm
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I fly jetblue several times a month and I think that part of the issue comes when some gate agents board the plane by letting too many rows on at once. If they only boarded 5 or 10 rows at a time like some of them do, it seems to go smoother. Also, I do see some flight attendants that do as you do and have customers hold their jackets etc and that does help. Not all attendants do it and it should be company policy to do it, and would be easier to police if only 5 rows are boarded at a time...
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Old Jan 25, 13, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by copyace View Post
Any suggestions what to do now that we're back home? Is there a better way to contact JetBlue than the web customer service form? Appreciate any help!

>>Brent
Consider contacting a lawyer. Perhaps the ony way to get through to JetBlue is to go the legal route.

Couple of questions. A) Does your carryon bag(s) fit within the sizers including any wheels and soft sided bulge? B) What was the flight attendant doing at your row that caused your wife and the FA to further the incident? C) Did your bags fit completely and securely under the seat with no protusions into the legroom space?

I see two possiblities as to why you were punted from the flight:
1 - Your bag was indeed slightly oversize to the point that it protruded outside the carry limitations.
2 - Your wife decided to pick a fight with the FA and would not let the situation go away. Futher escalated the situation when the flight attendant was doing final checks in the cabin. (e.g. wife initiated the second round of conversation).
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