Former New York Senator Kicked Off Flight After Inciting Passenger Rebellion

Former New York Senator Al D’Amato (“Senator Pothole”) was onboard JetBlue flight 1002 yesterday from Fort Lauderdale to New York JFK which was delayed more than 6 hours.

Reportedly passengers who paid for ‘Even More Room’ seats were bumped from those due to weight and balance issues on the Airbus A321. “That’s when..[D’Amato] took to the aisles” to pressure passengers to leave their extra legroom seats (he was in back, so inciting class warfare).

D’Amato, who was sitting toward the back of the plane — in a seat with sparse legroom — began chanting “make them move,” which a smattering of fellow passengers took up, and marched up and down the aisle.

The outburst prompted the crew to ask D’Amato to leave. When he didn’t, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was called in.

The 79 year old former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee was supposedly seen ‘downing’ wine prior to the flight. The former Republican Senator is now a lobbyist.

Perhaps somewhat ironically (or not) he served on the Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism in the aftermath of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

A longer video of the incident was posted to Twitter by a fellow passenger as well.

(HT: Greg L.)

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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  1. Always was a crackpot, just like all the other Repugs who were sent to D.C. to tear down the government to keep the taxes on the rich lowest in the world while letting children starve and withholding health care from the poor provided as a basic right in all other modern nations.

    Quite a little scam going where these handservants of the rich have duped ignorant rednecks to vote against their own interests by inciting their racism faux-Christian moralism that has destroyed the good name of Christianity in our lifetime. Just look at the fat bullies riding high on the Trump train, scourge of the planet.

  2. @hosea not sure what you’re thinking… he was known for constituent services, as in “senator, get the city to fix that big gaping pothole in the street by my house!”

  3. No Gregg, us rednecks would rather pay half of our income to the government so they can waste it and use it to subject us to their will and to pay off all of their supporters.

  4. He wasn’t out of line. People have a right to be treated with a certain amount of dignity and the airline industry is just getting out of hand with their power trips. The whole thing was quite absurd. People being told they have to move from their seats with extra legroom (that they paid extra for) because of the weight not being balanced or some nonsense?

  5. Pffff ahahahahaha oh ron, I think ur missing greg’s point. Most rednecks aren’t millionaires but they vote republican cuz they think Republicans care about Christian values and small government and family values but in fact they could care less and use those lines to trick Christians into voting for them, the whole time Republicans will just work to give large companies tax breaks. Those tax breaks down not go to rednecks unless ur a millionaire redneck I guess. They promise to build a wall, they promise to bring back jobs and cut down spending but it never happens. They will break the promises to everyone but big companies. Y would u vote for a party that looms at u like chumps and uses u. I’m not saying demo don’t do the same but at least they are upfront about saying they want bigger government and the benefits will go to low income people not just the top earners. Hell my income went up way more during Obama’s and Clinton’s terms in office and went down during both bush administration’s. Both bushes raised taxes and economy tanked during their administration’s now compare that to clinton term and Obama was president during recovery. Anyways enuff civics for one day.

  6. yo gregg, you must be one of those who favor socialism, while you may not understand what that means, i’m from china, & i feel more & more like home being here the past 8 yrs… until 2 months ago when economy was supposed to crash by half of the country that are fooled & machine that are hacked to lead us into mob state. no thank you but no, i have enough of a life in ideology already.

  7. Well Greg, there really is nothing and no one keeping you from moving to another Utopian paradise. Your world view is obviously different from my own, and that’s ok, but if you are so unhappy with our society, perhaps you should think about moving elsewhere so that you’ll be happier.

  8. @Bill, he was acting like a petulant child, trying to incite other passengers to rally against the crew, ultimately endangering the safety of everyone. Someone who acts that way on the ground is a wildcard as to how they will act 30,000 feet in the air, when the situation would be much harder to manage.

    You clearly have no understanding of how the physics of commercial air transportation work, either. In order to take off and land safely, the plane’s weight must be distributed a certain way. Many factors contribute to this, including cargo. Most of the time, it works out fine, but sometimes passengers need to move so the plane doesn’t CRASH on takeoff and landing. So save me the “they paid for extra leg room” bs – they’ll get a refund.

    People like you seem to forget that an airplane is not a bus. Air travel has unique challenges and ultimately, safety – including adhering to weight and balance restrictions, following crew member instructions, and not trying to incite a riot – is the priority.

  9. @C, can you please explain for us exactly how the weight distributions are made, considering they don’t weigh any passengers when they ask them to move from their paid seats?

    Your brand of gullibility has now gone nationwide, sadly.

  10. To: wtx says:

    Did you fail a basic logic class? Look up “either/or” fallacy. It is either Trump or “socialism”. (Note, if you think either Sanders or Clinton represented socialism, you need to do a little homework.)

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