Minta Burke's husband Cameron surprised the family with a trip to Las Vegas. But the Jersey City family says there was another surprise that came with the flight - and it wasn't the kind you celebrate.
"We were just so happy. Couldn't wait to get to Las Vegas, and all of a sudden this occurred, and my two children are screaming, crying. They're confused, not knowing what's going on, they were traumatized," says Minta Burke.
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In video of the incident, Burke's son is heard crying, saying they followed directions and did nothing wrong.
JetBlue claimed the birthday cake, initially stored in the overhead bin, caused a security risk. A flight attendant told Cameron he had to move it.
He moved the cake, and placed it under the seat. They say the situation escalated when a second flight attendant confronted the first flight attendant, and whatever was going on between them, he says, wasn't pretty.
"You know, you could see the gestures - then she was pointing to her, 'did you tell him he couldn't put anything in the overhead compartment?' I had approached them, and I said everything was fine, and she said, 'sir, this does not involve you. When she told me I had been non-compliant,' then I said 'ma'am, had you been drinking?' because her behavior was not normal," Cameron says.
Eventually, police at John F. Kennedy International Airport were brought on board. Then, an announcement was made saying everyone had to get off.
JetBlue released a statement saying, "(The customer) refused multiple requests from the crew to remove the items... became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crewmember's fitness to fly."
"The passengers were very understanding. They knew that this was a strange situation," Cameron said.
"It's just crazy. I'm surprised. I'm surprised. I thought highly of JetBlue before," Minta said.
Cameron says he never cursed or raised his voice. He says at no point was his family told why they were being kicked off the plane.
In fact, they were immediately refunded at the terminal, no questions asked. They say it all doesn't seem to add up.