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On a Thursday morning JetBlue flight out of JFK, Ivanka Trump was accosted and verbally harassed by a fellow passenger. The man is reported to have started yelling at her about her family ruining the country, and then questioning why she was even on the flight, remarking, “she should be flying private!”

Reports state Ivanka ignored the unruly passenger and distracted her children with crayons.

The passenger was escorted off the flight by Jet Blue personnel. As the man was removed from the flight, he reportedly exclaimed, “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?!” Expressing your opinion is fine and dandy, but things begin to cross a line when “expressing your opinion” turns into verbally harassing another passenger. It doesn’t matter who they are or to whom they are related. Nobody should have to put up with that while confined to a metal cylinder together for several hours.

JetBlue aircraft JFK T5, where incident occurred

Other reports claim the incident didn’t exactly proceed the way initially reported by some outlets. A fellow passenger on the flight described the man in the reports as “agitated” once he realized Ivanka and her family were on the flight, but also said that the man did not yell. The witness reported that the man’s comments included “[the Trumps] ruin the country and now they ruin our flight.” He also said Ivanka handled the whole situation well, calling her a “class act” in his Facebook post on the situation.

I agree with JetBlue’s decision to remove the man. The statement released by the airline indicated that the crew “feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight.” If there was any possibility that on-board tensions could flare while 35,000 feet in the sky, re-booking the man on the next flight was very likely the best call.

What honestly surprises me is that Ivanka was flying coach with her family, and it does so in a good way. I think it is really awesome that the daughter of the president-elect is rubbing elbows with “everyday Americans” traveling over the holidays. For the record, they did board a private jet to Hawaii after landing in San Francisco.

With somewhat conflicting reports, it is hard to know exactly what transpired. Based on all reports I’ve read, I still believe the JetBlue’s course of action to remove the man was a wise choice.

What are your thoughts on the incident?

Header image courtesy of Michael Gray via Flickr, under CC 2.0 license

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