Airline News: Passengers Kicked off Flights

Billy Haynes is a content writer and founder of HD Writing Co. He has an interest in many things and experience in writing about even more.

Airline News: Passengers Kicked Off Flights

Airline News: Passengers Kicked Off Flights

Ever been waiting for a flight that was delayed, or wonder why so many flights are delayed in the first place? While some of these delays are discussed on CNN, Fox, and other news stations, thanks to social media, even more passenger related incidents go viral.

Below, you will find the following stories:

  • Jet Blue Removes Family After 1-Year-Old Kicks Seat
  • Southwest Airlines Kicks Father and Toddler Off Flight
  • Delta Kicks Passenger Off After Using Restroom

*This article will be updated periodically.

Jet Blue Airlines Removes Family After 1-Year-Old Kicks Seat

On June 21st, 2017 JetBlue was in the news for having a family removed from their flight after their 1-year old daughter kicked the seat in front of them as the plane was preparing for departure. This apparently escalated into more serious conversation.

According to the family’s attorney, Mandy Ifrah and Tamir Raanan were on a return flight home (Fort Lauderdale, Fl to New York).

According to the statement, the female passenger and Ifrah had exchanged words prior to the woman moving to an empty seat beside her. Although Ifrah had apologized to said passenger, the flight attendant requested returning to the gate to have the family removed from their flight.

However, there’s always two sides to a story, and JetBlue claims the word exchanged included profanities and physical threats. Ifrah refused to exit the flight, resulting in all passengers being removed and police called in to forcibly remove the passenger.

Reason Kicked:

Customer got upset, exchanged words and allegedly made physical threats to another passenger. Then refused to exit the flight.

Passenger Response:

Stated the flight departed for New York without them, but took their luggage that contained their baby supplies, clothes, and most of their belongings. The following day, was informed they were banned from all JetBlue flights, and took a week to get their luggage back.

Airline Statements:

JetBlue reported they removed the family as a safety precaution after physical threats to another customer was made.

Personal Opinion:

The family claims they were not informed why they were kicked off the flight, and banned from all JetBlue flights. Even if this is true, what did they think the consequence would be of physically threatening someone on a flight? Had that been it, they may have caught the next JetBlue flight.

However, by refusing to exit the flight, causing all passengers to be taken off so police could board and remove the family. Personally, I think that might be a good reason behind being banned. What do you think?

Southwest Airlines Kicks Father and Toddler Off Flight

In March 2018 a father and his 2-year old daughter was removed from the flight because the toddler initially refused to be calm. The incident was captured on video by co-passenger Alexis Armstrong, which was later published to Facebook.

In the video, you can hear as the flight attendant requests Armstrong to stop filming the event. The video was posted by Armstrong, with the statement “Man kicked off plane with 2-year old because his daughter was scared and not sitting quietly.”

After the toddler was finally sitting calm for several minutes, a man with a two-way radio requests the father to grab their things and exit the flight. However, the father did not understand the request as he had already got his daughter to sit calmly.

Another flight attendant appears in the video, stating “the decision has been made”, using the excuse that the father told her to get out of the little girl’s face. However, Armstrong is heard defending the father, stating he “asked to be given a minute to calm his daughter.”

At this point, the flight attendant redirected her focus on Armstrong, telling her the situation “had nothing to do with her, so stop filming”.

Reason Kicked:

A 2-year old was afraid of flying and was not sitting quietly at first, father asked for a minute to calm his child.

Airline Response:

The flight attendants continued to have the plane returned to the gate to remove the father and his daughter, even though he had gotten her to sit calmly before getting back to the gate.

Personal Opinion:

Even as adults, flying can be a scary situation. When you’re a child, especially a 2-year old you’re going to voice your fears without caring when or where you are. This is where parenting comes in, calming your child. I believe they should have gave the father a couple minutes to see if he could calm the child prior to having them removed from the flight. Worst case scenario, he was unable to clam her and had to catch another flight.

However, it appears he calmed the child and they continued to kick them from the flight. This screams poor customer service. Although, there is the chance of the child acting up mid-flight, these are situations airlines should train their flight attendants to handle more calmly themselves, because anyone could have a panic attack at 35,000 feet – what do they do then?

Delta Kicks Passenger Off for Using the Restroom

On April 18th, 2017, Kima Hamilton was kicked off his Delta flight after having to use the restroom while the plane was taxiing. Mr. Hamilton filed a lawsuit against the airline, stating the color of his skin was a factor in their decision to remove him, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The lawsuit aims to retrieve an unspecified amount in punitive and compensatory damages.

The report stated that Hamilton had requested to use the bathroom after waiting on the tarmac for 15 to 20 minutes. However, the flight attendant said they would lose their position for departure and would need to take his seat.

After more waiting, he was unable to continue holding it and made a quick trip to the restroom and sat back down. Soon after this, an announcement was made by the pilot that they were returning to the gate to remove a passenger. Once back at the gate, two Delta employees walked up to Mr. Hamilton and informed him he had to exit the flight.

A video was captured by another passenger, Krista Rosolino. Hamilton can be heard explaining he tried to wait, but was unable to any longer. At first, he refused to leave his flight, but finally complied, where FBI agents were waiting on him at the gate.

Additionally, all other passengers had to depart from the plane. Delta refused to allow Hamilton to purchase another ticket, forcing him to purchase a ticket from Southwest Airlines at nearly triple the cost.

Reason Kicked:

The man had to pee and couldn’t hold it after 20+ minutes waiting.

Airline Response:

A statement was issued by Delta in regard to both the incident and the lawsuit:

“We provide extensive training to flight crew, ensuring security and safety of all customers. It is important that all passengers follow the FAA regulations and instructions from the crew, including vital times such as takeoff and landing. It was our finding that this customer had not followed these instructions.”

Personal Opinion:

It sounds like the plane had been taxiing and waiting for departure for nearly 30 minutes, and was still taxiing when he returned from the restroom. Personally, if they knew it was going to be another 10-minute wait, they could have easily allowed him to quickly use the restroom.

Furthermore, having all passengers exit the plan and FBI agents at the gate seems a bit excessive for someone who choose to use the restroom over urinating in his seat. But, who knows maybe Delta would have preferred that route? I know everyone else delayed on their flight probably would have.

© 2012 Billy Haynes


Billy Haynes (author) from Paragould, AR on May 23, 2018:

My first experience with flying resulted in a not so pleasant experience. The service I went through booked my flight, but not the seat. I had my parents drive me 3 hours away for the flight to be informed it was overbooked. There was a flight 90 minutes away, but at $150 more.

I was annoyed, but there was 3 others sitting there with the exact same situation. Since that was the last flight out, they paid to shuttle us to another airport (the one that was originally 90 minutes away, but now 4 hrs away), compensated the airfare, gave us several upgrades, and a voucher that covered the cost of a future flight.

In the end, we each got about $1,500 worth of upgrades/vouchers, so that overbooking issue costed the airline a minimum of $4,500.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on May 23, 2018:

My sister was an airline employee for 43 years. I myself rode on airplanes occasionally, but not recently.

Rules are fairly strict, but ignorance of a policy is not a reason or being "kicked off." There may be belligerence on the part of the passenger.

I do know there are tighter security procedures, such that two hours is now the recommended arrival time prior to departure. That says a lot right there.

If I were the person being escorted off the plane, personally I would just cooperate. Those airline people have a lot to do and put up with many disgruntled customers. Sure, airlines make mistakes--we're all human. Sometimes planes get overbooked (a big no-no). Some of the decisions airline staff make are not good ones, yet they have the right to refuse service, just like any business. If too many mistakes are made, the airline company loses money and can go out of business. So, checks and balances are self evident. There have been many airline mergers and changes over the years.

I think going public with bad treatment, real or imagined, is over kill. A letter to a CEO or public relations director should suffice--you never know, you might get an apology and a refund or reduced fair on a future flight. If not, that's okay too. Just choose a different airline next time.

Billy Haynes (author) from Paragould, AR on March 11, 2012:

Interesting, I will have to look into OneWorld and Star Alliance as I've not heard of them, but then again I've only flown a few times. You also mention many destinations I've not heard of before so I will have to look into them more as well, I like learning about new places when I can (even if I can't travel there myself). :)

Michael Kromwyk from Adelaide, South Australia on March 11, 2012:

I normally don't get too many issues as I won't fly on the discount airlines. I travel a bit for work and leisure, so I make sure that I am on airlines that are either part of OneWorld or Star Alliance.

The most interesting flight recently was Adelaide to KL, there was some very severe thunderstorms around the airport so we got pushed to Jophur (near Singapore)for a quick refuel before heading back to KL. Made the trip a bit more interesting.

My jinx city is Auckland...I seem to be delayed or late into this airport every time...once I lost my sightseeing day around the city due to an 8 hour delay getting out of Raro!

Billy Haynes (author) from Paragould, AR on March 11, 2012:

Great comment, ramble on I enjoy reading comments and stories like that from readers. :). I've only flown a handful of times, usually from Memphis, TN to Houston,TX and once had a Houston layover to Dallas. Every time I flew out it was a horror story, but not child-related!

My first time ever flying was a few years ago so it was the first time I booked a flight with Priceline. I was "supposed" to fly out of Little Rock, AR, I traveled 3 hours to get there and the flight was full, Priceline booked the flight just not a seat! I had a crash course on my first go around.

The airline apologized (there was also another guy with the same issue). They did not have another flight open to Houston that day in Little Rock so they paid the charter bus fee to have us taken to the Memphis airport where they had a later flight available. I also got free food vouchers good for the day and $300 off my next flight so I wasn't complaining. Although, the next time I just went to Memphis (it's only an hour or so away)...and I now know to make sure I have an assigned seat, haha.

My second time, I was getting food for the flight and when I got back it was gone 20 minutes early, my ride was gone, but got lucky there was another seat open on a later flight so I just had a 2 hour wait. I sat there and didn't move for 2 hours.

Now, the return flights I haven't had a problem with so far, and haven't had any issues with the passengers. Although the guy I sat next to from Houston to Dallas had some educational flight talk... Thanks for the comment.

Michael Kromwyk from Adelaide, South Australia on March 11, 2012:

Billy, enjoyed reading your hub as always. I have travelled the world with my children, from when they are about 3 months old, my 10 year old son has been to Europe 4 times, USA twice & right across Asia & the Pacific. The girls (8 & 4) aren't that far behind.

There are a couple of advantages to travelling with children - 1. They keep you busy on the flight, 2. From an airlines perspective they are building clientele for the future. Airlines need to take the longer view to impress children so that they build brand allegience in the future. For example I like to fly Air New Zealand because they help with the kids, have a fold out area on the seats so that it converts to a bed (great for the kids to get to sleep) & they are generally friendly.

My kids are generally well behaved on flights, they settle into their seat, turn on the TV, watch movie after movie and then go to sleep after bothering the hostie for food!

But, I do have a horror story, my then 18 month old (is 4 now) wasn't having a good flight sitting on my lap from LAX to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, so decided to scream right through the descent! She only stopped once she saw the pristine beach of the island and then said she wanted to go swimming NOW! As we got off the plane the pilot said, 'so you were the one we could hear in the cockpit!' While it was embarressing, she was just tired on the second last leg of an around the world trip & she hasn't been an issue since.

Sorry about my ramblings! Cheers Michael

Billy Haynes (author) from Paragould, AR on March 10, 2012:

Haha, I can see where you are coming from as they can sometimes get annoying. Specially if the parents are the type who do not get on to their children and let them run wild. However if they were to put a ban on "10 years and older) boarding planes it would not only lower the profits airlines make, but also limit parents even further on taking trips.

I did think it odd that the US Airways crew even suggested the family let "somebody else" hold one of the younger kids during the flight. Not only do they not know the people, no body would volunteer for that position...

:) Thanks for reading and commenting.

Larry Horton from Greenwood, Arkansas on March 10, 2012:

I am a firm believer that children under the age of 10 should not be allowed on any aircraft. I hate kids on airplanes and think there should be a worldwide ban on the screaming little snot bags.

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