Lisa Carter-Knight says a few tweets got her kicked off a JetBlue flight. (Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
Flying is generally an experience as pleasant as removing nasal hairs with a crowbar.
So these days some passengers express their frustrations on Twitter. This is something that, according to Lisa Carter-Knight, JetBlue doesn’t accept kindly.
Carter-Knight said she was supposed to fly from Philadelphia to Boston on Tuesday evening. But, as WCVB-TV reports, the flight was delayed after the pilot was forced to take a sobriety test.
The reason for the sobriety test was allegedly a joke made by a passenger while boarding: “I hope there is a fully stocked bar onboard.” The pilot, however, took the comment as an accusation that he was intoxicated, JetBlue told WCVB-TV.
It’s unclear who made the joke. However, Carter-Knight began tweeting about the incident. Her first tweet, sent yesterday evening, read: “#JetBlue Major debacle on flight 760 in Philly- pilot accuses passengers of accusing him of being intoxicated demands all passengers back.”
The passengers were kept at the gate while the pilot was tested. Carter-Knight kept tweeting: “Philly Boston flight 760 grounded due to unruly pilot — false accusations by pilot that his sobriety was questioned by passengers.” Another tweet described the pilot as “angry.”
Then it was Carter-Knight’s turn to get angry, as a later tweet revealed: “Jet Blue just denied me to board the aircraft due to my social media coverage of tonight’s events. The pilot and staff denied service to me.”
That seems a touch severe.
Finally, Carter-Knight tossed this at JetBlue: “Jet Blue denied me access tonight to a flight home to my three children. Thanks for supporting single working mothers.”
Clearly, human relations had taken a turn for the worse.
“I was just doing what I normally do with my kids — sharing information,” Carter-Knight told CBS Philadelphia.
JetBlue, however, saw things differently, and she was left behind. The airline said it’s investigating why she wasn’t allowed on the flight and issued a dry statement about the pilot: “As a precautionary measure, a sobriety test was conducted. The test demonstrated the pilot was sober and he was cleared to perform his duties.”
More Technically Incorrect
Carter-Knight said she was thrown off the flight because of her tweets.
In a statement to CNET, a spokeswoman said its not the airline’s policy to remove customers from flights for criticizing JetBlue: “It is not our practice to remove a customer for expressing criticism of their experience in any medium. … In this instance, the customer received a refund and chose to fly on another carrier.”
The JetBlue spokeswoman added: “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.”
Carter-Knight, who bills herself on Twitter as “Marketing and Promotions Guru, Creator of the original Cocktail Competition,” was clearly put out at her treatment.
However, there is no evidence so far about an actual altercation between her and the pilot or any other member of the cabin crew.
Could it be that some airlines are getting so fed up with customers tweeting their experiences that they deny them service?