Ivanka Trump and Family Accosted While Flying JetBlue to Palm Beach

Apparently Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were flying New York JFK to West Palm Beach this morning. TMZ first reported on an altercation that had passengers removed after they confronted the daughter and son-in-law of the President Elect over how fundamentally evil they believe Donald Trump to be.

Reportedly Ivanka Trump just “ignored the guy and tried distracting her kids with crayons.”

Using a since-deleted twitter account (Here’s the cache) it appears as though Hunter College Professor Matthew Lasner wrote,

Apparently he and his husband were the ones kicked off the JetBlue flight. However it’s unclear to me what happened here — he first seems to suggest going after Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner in the terminal but it does seem the altercation happened during the boarding process on the aircraft.

He then tweeted that “My husband expressed displeasure in a calm tone, JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane.” The ‘calm tone’ seems likely to have been a stretch.

JetBlue issued a statement:

If the crew determines that a customer is causing conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight. Our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight

That’s a bit different than the statement by Mr. Lasner’s husband, an employment attorney — “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?”

According to a passenger on the plane,

Well my son and I made the news today. That’s us in the photo. I am sitting in the next row up from Ivanka and surrounded by her family. The whole incident happened literally 15 inches from me.

The article is sensationalizing this a little. Here is what happened.

He didn’t accost her directly.

When he got on and saw her, sitting behind me, he said “oh my god. This is a nightmare” and was visibly shaking. He said “they ruin the country now they ruin our flight!” (Context: Boarding and therefore the flight was delayed because they needed to get on first through some other way)

He did not yell. He was also not what I would describe as calm. Agitated maybe. His husband behind him was very calm. His son is adorable and sharply dressed.

When the JetBlue staff went back to speak to the man I overheard Ivanka say to them “I don’t want to make this a thing.” My assessment is that she was happy to let the man take his seat. Security made a different call

Striking about the whole incident of course is Ivanka flying JetBlue from New York JFK — rather than Delta from JFK (offering a first class cabin) or even from New York LaGuardia or for that matter United out of Newark. (American only has an afternoon flight from LaGuardia so wouldn’t have been an option.)

While some might expect their family to be flying private, I’d rather expect them to fly commercial on two-cabin aircraft so that she could put her upgrade advice to the test.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Kicking them off the plane… for what? Making offhand remarks about her public position? Sure, it is up to JetBlue’s discretion, but still, what is the precedent here? If someone bumps into me, and tells me, “Hey, watch it, jerk”, can he be kicked off?

    But I do understand them being kicked of if they were seated close to the Trumps, or should I say, the Kushners. Because being in close proximity can lead to escalation.

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