A JetBlue passenger said the flight crew threatened to kick him off the plane after a first-class passenger gave him an eye mask but an attendant demanded he give it back

·6 min read
Tyler Weitzman on plane (L), JetBlue aircraft (R)
In a viral TikTok, Tyler Weitzman said a flight crew made him give up an eye mask given to him by a first-class customer. Screenshot via Tyler Weitzman TikTok, Business Wire via AP
  • A JetBlue passenger said a flight crew threatened to boot him after he was gifted an eye mask.

  • He said a flight attendant told him first-class flyers weren't allowed to share the Snooze Kit.

  • A JetBlue representative told Insider the company was "revisiting" the policy.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A 25-year-old software developer said a JetBlue flight crew threatened to kick him off a plane last week after a passenger in first class gave him an eye mask that was included for her flight because passengers in economy weren't permitted to use such masks.

The incident was documented in a viral TikTok video.

Tyler Weitzman, who lives in Miami, told Insider he was taking a last-minute trip to Los Angeles after he was invited by the content creators Yes Theory to film videos for their YouTube channel. Weitzman told Insider he didn't get much sleep the night before the 7:30 a.m. flight took off from Fort Lauderdale last Thursday because he was packing for the trip and needed to take an early-morning Uber to the airport.

Weitzman said that when he boarded the plane he overheard a passenger in JetBlue's first class - dubbed Mint by the airline - ask a flight attendant whether he could have a Snooze Kit. The kits include earplugs and an eyeshade, according to JetBlue's website.

Related video: How flight attendants are trained

When Weitzman told the flight attendant he hadn't received much sleep the night before and asked her whether he too could have one of the kits, he was told they were offered only to Mint passengers, he said.

Then, Weitzman said, a Mint passenger who overheard his earlier conversation with the flight attendant found him on the plane and gave him the eye mask that was included in her Snooze Kit.

"That was the kindest thing a stranger had done for me this year," Weitzman told Insider.

"I don't think I would've been so kind in her shoes," he added.

But before the plane left the gate, he said, the flight attendant approached Weitzman in his seat and told him he wouldn't be able to keep the eye mask, demanding he return it.

'That's not fair'

Weitzman said he and the flight attendant argued for more than six minutes. He said he recorded their exchange and posted a shortened clip to TikTok, which has since earned more than 1 million views.

"Sir, I need to take that mask please," the flight attendant says in the video.

"You didn't buy a Mint seat, so you can't use the Mint products," she continued.

"I think that's ridiculous," Weitzman responded.

"I don't have 143 other masks to give everybody else on the airplane a mask. That's not fair," the flight attendant responded.

In the video, Weitzman offered to purchase a Snooze Kit but the flight attendant told him they weren't for sale on the aircraft. The flight attendant repeated that she gave the kit to the passenger in first class and said Weitzman wasn't permitted to use it as an economy passenger.

"What's to keep him from bringing all the blankets and all the food back here to their friends?" she asked in the video. "They can't do that either."

Weitzman told Insider he asked to purchase a Mint seat but was told there weren't any seats available. He said he offered to pay the upgrade fee while remaining seated in the economy section just to get the Snooze Kit. The flight attendant refused the offer, he said.

At one point, Weitzman said he heard a member of the flight crew call for security. A supervisor boarded the aircraft and reiterated the company's policy to him, Weitzman told Insider. He said he agreed to return the mask to avoid further delays after the flight crew told him he'd have to get off the plane if he refused to comply.

"The thing that unsettled me the most was the fact that it was such a juxtaposition from when I got that eye mask from that lady," Weitzman said.

The flight attendant later brought Weitzman the personal, non-Mint eye mask of a first-class passenger who said he wanted him to have it, Weitzman said. Because this mask wasn't JetBlue branded, the flight attendant was fine with it, he added.

JetBlue said it's 'revisiting' the company's policy

Derek Dombrowski, a JetBlue representative, confirmed in a statement to Insider on Tuesday that customers in Mint were prohibited from sharing products like "meals, alcohol, pillows, blankets, and other amenities" with passengers in economy-class seating.

"The policy does not specifically mention eye masks that are provided as part of the amenity kit, and after reviewing the customer's video and speaking to him directly, we understand the frustration he felt," he said. "We are sorry we were not able to provide him with an eye mask as requested and that the thoughtful gesture from another customer caused him issues."

Dombrowski said JetBlue was "revisiting" its policy to create "clarity" for its customers and staff.

Weitzman said he'd been in contact with JetBlue, including with Ed Baklor, JetBlue's vice president of inflight experience, since he posted his videos to TikTok over the weekend.

The JetBlue representative confirmed the company was "in touch with" Weitzman.

Weitzman said the airline apologized for the experience and offered him a free Mint-class ticket for his trip back to Miami, he said.

"The main thing that bothered me at the time was just the property," he said. "The legal argument that it's not their property to take away from me, and they're using their authority of being able to kick me off the flight and their power as an attendant to take that away."

He said he wasn't sure whether he was satisfied with the airline's response because he knew so many people were angered after he posted the video. More than 3,000 people have left overwhelmingly supportive comments on his original video. Another 10,000 people have left comments on a follow-up video he posted.

Angry commentators have also flocked to JetBlue's social-media accounts, scolding the airline for the caught-on-video interaction.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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