Members of a New Jersey family transporting a birthday cake to a family celebration in Las Vegas say they were removed from their JetBlue flight despite following flight attendants' instructions regarding the cake.
Cameron and Minta Burke said they were flying with two children to Las Vegas where they would meet with relatives to celebrate Minta's 40th birthday. They brought a boxed cake from a bakery along with them. Cameron Burke said he put the cake box in an overhead bin and was asked by a flight attendant to remove it. When he moved to the cake to a different bin, he says, she requested that he put the cake on the floor under the seat in front of him. "I did," Burke says.
That, according to Burke, is when a second flight attendant came and began arguing with the first over placement of the cake. When Cameron tried to intervene, saying that everything had been resolved, tensions escalated.
According to a JetBlue statement, "the customers became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crewmember's fitness to fly." Burke admits he asked the second flight attendant if she had been drinking, because he didn't think her behavior made sense.
JetBlue called the police in to resolve the dispute, and the entire aircraft was emptied.
In a video posted online by Cameron Burke, police are seen questioning the family. The children are visibly upset. One begins to cry.
"Dad, I feel scared," said Cameron's daughter.
"I know, I know," he replied.
Cameron Burke seems confused by the disagreement. "For a cake?" she asks. "A cake? I moved the cake. It's a birthday cake."
One of the officers is heard telling the family that it appears everything is all right, but that he needs to make a report. "No one's in any trouble," the officer says. "Unfortunately, it got reported to us. No one did anything wrong, OK? Everyone's going to be OK. Unfortunately, they're going to have to rebook everyone."
JetBlue says the captain of the flight decided the family should not be allowed to fly. The rest of the passengers reboarded the plane, while the Burkes received a refund.
Cameron Burke said the JetBlue flight attendant should be fired. "She has no business serving the public," he said.
The family traveled to Las Vegas a day late on United Airlines.