A former New York Senator is making headlines for his outburst on a New York-bound JetBlue flight that led to him being ejected from a plane. But of course, almost no plane tirade is complete without the Florida angle.
Ex-New York Sen. Al D’Amato was on JetBlue flight 1002 from Fort Lauderdale Monday night, following a nearly seven-hour delay. Flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have been facing numerous delays after a shooter killed five people and injured six at a baggage claim terminal Friday.
But Monday’s JetBlue flight still couldn’t leave until 10 passengers in the front were moved to the back of the plane to redistribute weight, CNN reported.
When several passengers refused to move, D’Amato got up and confronted them, as well as crew and the captain, who he said needed “to grow some balls” and control the situation, according to passenger Layla Delarmelina, who spoke to CNN.
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The incident led to D’Amato’s ejection from the flight.
JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston confirmed a passenger was removed from the flight and added that “the decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If a customer is causing a conflict on the aircraft, it is standard procedure to ask the customer to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs a risk of escalation in-flight.”
But D’Amato didn’t go without trying to bring some passengers with him.
In videos reportedly taken by other travelers on the flight, D’Amato is seen trying to rally other passengers to leave the plane with him in protest of JetBlue’s actions.
“They are throwing me off the plane because I complained about what they were doing,” D’Amato says in one video. “...I’ll make an appeal to all you people. Stand up for what’s right and walk out with me.”
At least one passenger is seen walking out with D’Amato, while others shout “freedom of speech!”
As D’Amato leaves the plane, one passenger is heard in a video asking: “ Do we still live in America? Are we still in America?”
And another responds: “No, you are in Florida.”
Miami Herald writer Patricia Mazzei contributed to this report.