Airline Boots Passenger for Tweeting Pilot Sobriety Debacle

JetBlue kicks passenger off for tweeting

How many of you have turned to social media when something noteworthy (or annoying) happens during your air travel plans? I’m thinking it’s pretty common to send out a tweet or two when your flight is delayed or something weird happens with your flight. I didn’t think it was forbidden to tweet about these things, though, which is why JetBlue’s decision to kick a woman off her flight for tweeting that the pilot was undergoing a sobriety test seems so incredibly strange.

If the story happened the way the woman says, JetBlue flat-out denied her service because she shared the incident via Twitter.

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Lisa Carter was booked on JetBlue Flight #760 to Logan at 8:30 Tuesday night, and here’s what she posted after she learned her flight was going to be delayed:

She followed up with this:

Well for crying out loud, who could possibly blame her? If I was on a flight where the pilot was fighting with passengers over whether he appeared drunk or not and he had to undergo a sobriety test (which he passed, by the way), I’m pretty sure I’d be telling the world about it, because HOW CRAZY IS THAT?

JetBlue apparently didn’t appreciate her talking on social media, because Carter says she was kicked off the flight and refused a rebooking:

I was told, that the pilot requested that I not be on the flight ... so I requested to be re-booked and he said in fact ma’am, we’re denying you service.

WHAT? Carter ended up getting stuck at the Philadelphia Airport in the middle of the night and says JetBlue never helped her with transportation or accommodations. She eventually got a flight the next day on another airline. She was given a refund but isn’t satisfied, since she says the airline took her “civil rights and (her) freedom of speech.”

JetBlue issued the following statement about their decision:

We will remove a customer if they are disruptive and the crew evaluates that there is a risk of escalation which could lead to an unsafe environment. The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If we feel a customer is not complying with safety instructions, exhibits objectionable behavior or causes conflict at the gate or on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane or will be denied boarding especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of accelerating in the air.”

So what I’m wondering is did this woman really only send a couple tweets and that’s why she was kicked off the plane? Because if so, that is some serious bullshit. Or did she act up when confronted about the tweets, and her behavior is what ultimately led the airline to its decision to remove her? I guess there’s no way to know for certain, but more and more, it seems like air travel has become about as enjoyable and dignified as getting booked into prison. Give me a road trip any day over insane ticket prices, endless security SNAFUs, and draconian policies that seem to change day by day.

Do you think JetBlue had the right to remove this lady, if all she did was tweet about the incident?


Image via kingair42/Flickr

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