An Israeli family now living in Brooklyn, NY say they were booted off a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York while travelling with their three daughters without giving them any reason.
A video taken by a fellow passenger which has now gone viral, shows Tamir and Mandy Raanan in a heated discussion with a Jetblue employee after they were removed from the plane after they say another passenger got upset with their one-year-old daughter for kicking his seat.
The Raanan family said that they thought that the situation was resolved when the passenger moved to another seat, but shortly after that they were asked to leave the plane.
The video shows JetBlue employee Armando Gonzalez claiming they they were booted because they refused to cooperate.
JetBlue have refuted the family’s version and issued this statement: “The customers refused repeated requests from our crew members to deplane the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area and we provided a refund. We are investigating whether the customers’ behavior warrants restrictions on JetBlue travel and we thank our crew members for their professional handling of this unfortunate incident.”
Mandy Raanan claims that after the agitated passenger in front of them told her to tie her daughter’s feet together to stop her from kicking her seat.
Credit: Inside Edition
On the video Jetblue’s Armando Gonzalez tells the couple: ‘We can discuss this outside the plane. What I need you to do is come with me outside the plane.’
Another passenger chimes in: ‘I saw the whole thing nothing happened’.
While yet another passenger says: ‘This is terrible’.
David Templer, the family’s lawyer told the New York Post that Jetblue has been disparaging his clients good name and denied that his clients were belligerent. He also added that the family has been swarmed with hateful comments after the incident.
“They have been getting messages on Facebook and e-mails telling them they’re scum, they’re pieces of s—t and that they should leave the country,” he said.
“This is just JetBlue’s after-the-fact attempt to distract from the incident and assassinate the character of a family of five who were abandoned — after being humiliated — without their luggage.”
After Jetblue booted them, they were stranded in Florida with their 3 children while all their luggage with baby clothes and diapers continued onto New York.
The Raanan family was forced to spend $2,000 for new airline tickets and other expenses the next day — but JetBlue only refunded $500, he said.
JetBlue has also banned the Raanan family from flying with them again, even though they have been JetBlue members since 2004.
The Raanans who initially just wanted an explanation and apology from JetBlue, now say they are contemplating a lawsuit alleging defamation of character and infliction of emotional distress.