Ivanka Trump and Family Accosted While Flying JetBlue to Palm Beach

Apparently Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were flying New York JFK to West Palm Beach this morning. TMZ first reported on an altercation that had passengers removed after they confronted the daughter and son-in-law of the President Elect over how fundamentally evil they believe Donald Trump to be.

Reportedly Ivanka Trump just “ignored the guy and tried distracting her kids with crayons.”

Using a since-deleted twitter account (Here’s the cache) it appears as though Hunter College Professor Matthew Lasner wrote,

Apparently he and his husband were the ones kicked off the JetBlue flight. However it’s unclear to me what happened here — he first seems to suggest going after Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner in the terminal but it does seem the altercation happened during the boarding process on the aircraft.

He then tweeted that “My husband expressed displeasure in a calm tone, JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane.” The ‘calm tone’ seems likely to have been a stretch.

JetBlue issued a statement:

If the crew determines that a customer is causing conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight. Our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight

That’s a bit different than the statement by Mr. Lasner’s husband, an employment attorney — “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?”

According to a passenger on the plane,

Well my son and I made the news today. That’s us in the photo. I am sitting in the next row up from Ivanka and surrounded by her family. The whole incident happened literally 15 inches from me.

The article is sensationalizing this a little. Here is what happened.

He didn’t accost her directly.

When he got on and saw her, sitting behind me, he said “oh my god. This is a nightmare” and was visibly shaking. He said “they ruin the country now they ruin our flight!” (Context: Boarding and therefore the flight was delayed because they needed to get on first through some other way)

He did not yell. He was also not what I would describe as calm. Agitated maybe. His husband behind him was very calm. His son is adorable and sharply dressed.

When the JetBlue staff went back to speak to the man I overheard Ivanka say to them “I don’t want to make this a thing.” My assessment is that she was happy to let the man take his seat. Security made a different call

Striking about the whole incident of course is Ivanka flying JetBlue from New York JFK — rather than Delta from JFK (offering a first class cabin) or even from New York LaGuardia or for that matter United out of Newark. (American only has an afternoon flight from LaGuardia so wouldn’t have been an option.)

While some might expect their family to be flying private, I’d rather expect them to fly commercial on two-cabin aircraft so that she could put her upgrade advice to the test.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. While I detest Donald Trump and don’t consider his family members to be models of anything admirable, I find @Credit’s comment treading dangerously close to inciting deadly violence.

  2. @Credit: As a liberal, I thought you were opposed to stereotyping people. But then again, we all know Republicans are Luddites and democrats are diverse, right?

    The guy could have significantly helped his position by just keeping his mouth shut and sharing his experience with his friends, instead of making general announcements to people he does not know. Most people call that discretion.

  3. More of the liberal lefts intolerance. They need to take a timeout, go to their quite room with some crayons and take a four year nap.

  4. The news cycle is pushing a “Delta = Islamophobic” theme, on the heels of that Youtube prankster. I’m not suggesting this played into her choice of airline, but Ivanka spotted aboard Delta could be interpreted (however irrationally) as support for bigotry against Muslims.

  5. Michael Flynn should be investigated for inciting deadly violence. Trump should be investigated for inciting violence. More of Republican hypocrisy.

  6. I would hope that any passenger who is engaged in the harassment of another passenger is ejected from a flight.

  7. I’m glad jetBlue kicked the jerk off the plane. Gonna buy a jetBlue ticket to celebrate common sense Hurray for jetBlue.

  8. Harassing President-Elect Trump’s family is inappropriate. Bur would this happen if his daughter didn’t seem to have decided to become a public figure and jump into the political arena?

    Hearing unkind comments is par for the course when you choose to be a public, political figure. This is a reason why some people choose to travel separately from their children.

  9. so she wasn’t accosted?
    not saying this guy was entirely blameless….but you’re not allowed to be annoyed at people delaying your flight?

  10. Maybe she flew JetBlue because she really likes the Terra Blue chips. Some people fly Delta for the Biscoffs.

  11. News to me that they “ruined the country.” Not quite sure how that works when he won’t even be sworn in for another month. I can’t stand Trump but some of these people of the left have just gone completely off the deep end.

  12. @GUWonder
    Yeah, but this is on an airplane where security and safety is the biggest concern. If you have one passenger berating (or “accosting”) another passenger during boarding and you think it might continue through the flight, then the agitated passenger who is flipping out at the mere presence of Ivanka (who is arguably one of the most liberal in the family, btw) is gonna be removed.

  13. Definitely not a Trump fan, but nobody should be harassed, accosted or bothered on a plane regardless who they are related to…

    That said, I am surprised they flew commercial

  14. Why doesn’t she have secret service? A few years back I was flying on a red eye from LAX to BWI on US Airways and President Jimmy Carter got on the plane and sat in economy with several members of his detail

  15. Lasner and his husband have always been drama queens and charter members of the Whiny Little B!tch Club.

    Jet Blue made the right call.

  16. I agree with the FA’s intervention. If the passenger is incapable of checking his attitude while boarding, he just might continue his micro-aggression later on. Why wait and find out? Seeing that he was so unhappy with a Trump onboard, he can catch the next flight

  17. Totally confused, since CNN is reporting that Ivanka and family were headed out of New York to Hawaii for a vacation. Flying JFK to PBI hardly seems to be the first segment….. Somebody got SOMEthing wrong……

  18. As a AA Plat for life on a pretty regular DCA-BOS schedule, I encounter DC luminaries with some frequency when I get upgraded. In the past couple of months, I have encountered Bob Schiefer and Zbigniew Brezinski in the F cabin. on another recent flight I was next to a prominent Harvard Law Professor who I recognized.

    But it is important to recall – THEY ARE NOT THERE TO SEE ME. LEAVE THEM ALONE. Washington is, of course, as James Carville calls it, “Hollywood for ugly people”. It is beyond crass to bug “celebrities” who are on private travel.

    As for those who must justify themselves by interacting, positively or negatively with celebrities who they encounter, I modestly suggest that they get their own life independent of celebrities.

  19. Ivanka Trump has chosen to board the Trump White House gravy train , along with her deplorable husband, for their personal enrichment and the unique perks that come with it all. There are many very angry people about who feel strongly about this family of carpet-baggers getting into positions of power. It is inconceivable that she so badly misjudged the public mood and felt that she could travel on a scheduled flight problem free. She should revert to using dad’s jet, so the public might be spared the upset of seeing her and her horrible family.
    It is unacceptable (and counter-productive) however that she should be verbally accosted by this guy. I can understand he is boiling over with rage at the election result, but insulting a thick-skinned pro like Ivanka was futile and feeds into the rhetoric Trump himself twists to his own advantage. He packages it and presents it to his adoring dolts as evidence of unhinged liberals supporting Hillary and her kind. Just sit back, and wait for that other big ‘I’ to happen, as it will, as sure as night follows day!

  20. Along with post-truth we clearly now live in a post-hypocrisy world. The same kind of people who belligerently call out Liberals for being too-sensitive “snowflakes” now want a safe zone and trigger warnings for a grown-ass successful woman.

  21. This event seems completely staged. The Kushner’s are one of the wealthiest families in NY and Trump is supposedly a billionaire and he let’s his kids and grandchildren fly coach to Florida as the president elect? I think not. This story is just another fake news story and you fell for it.

  22. Not a fake story. They were on the plane. B6 has made a statement about it. Maybe she didn’t fly AA because she didn’t want to fly on an MD90. Maybe she was in Suffolk County and didn’t want the additional traffic to get to LGA. B6 does not fly to HI. But she was taken off the B6 flight in PBI on the ramp, and driven to the private jet to go to HI from there with the rest of the family.

  23. Regardless of what I think of her husband, I’m happy that she chose to fly on regular commercial jet instead of letting us tax payers shell out millions of dollar on private air service. I hope this will continue and that the jerk didn’t convince her to never set her foot on regular jet service.

  24. @CoolHandLuke

    Your diatribe could easily turn the tables with a name substitution. For example:

    “Hillary Clinton chose to board the White House gravy train , along with her deplorable husband, for their personal enrichment and the unique perks that come with it all. There are many very angry people about who feel strongly about this family of carpet-baggers getting into positions of power. It is inconceivable that she so badly misjudged the public mood and gave away the election. She should revert to using one of her billion dollar donor’s jet, so the public might be spared the upset of seeing her and her horrible family.”

    Look…..I am not a fan of Trump but I am getting so tired of the hypocrisy of Hillary supporters and their constant trail of hate. Isn’t that one of the reasons why so many do not support Trump, because he supposedly hates (insert demographic here)?

  25. The left preaches such “tolerance.” Unless they disagree with you and then the end justifies the means. What hypocrisy/

  26. They are either really cheap or they wanted this staged to make themselves look better. These people are billionaires so the likelihood of them flying Jet Blue in coach with their small children is next to nothing. They are used to 24k plated toilet paper. This was just a big hoax and stupid idiots believed it. Right out the Breitbart playbook. I can’t believe how gullible people are.

  27. @Mark

    There are some well-known wealthy people who do not spend their money on transportation or large, lavish homes for that matter. Do you think they “stage” those facts? Again, why so much hate toward someone who did not run for the presidency and is only doing what millions of people do, taking a holiday vacation!




  28. @spindrift~ you can attempt to twist my words as much as you like (just like TeamTrump is so adept at doing) but it doesn’t quite work.
    I stand by every word I posted.

  29. @CoolHandLuke

    Such is your prerogative…….I only request that we, as Americans (not as liberals or conservatives), try to eliminate the hate toward everyone we do not agree with or even lack respect for. I do not wish for you to abandon your opinions or beliefs but just to gain some awareness of how our choice of words can convey hate (unless that was your intention then you have succeeded in communicating that).

    Again, I am not a Trump supporter. I should have mentioned in my earlier post that I am just as frustrated with the conservatives. The hypocrisy and hate FROM BOTH SIDES is deafening.

  30. Spendrift that is a ludicrous post. Kate Middleton did not fly coach and she flew from Brussels to London on BA. These are billionaires and they are all senior members of the next administration not to mention Trump’s child and grandchildren. It’s so obviously a PR stunt and you bought it hook, line & sinker. LOL. Totally fake news. This has nothing to do with hate. There is no way these people would fly in coach from NY to SFO. Total Breitbart inspired fake news.

  31. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to fly JetBlue – especially on short notice. The private jet to Hawaii was waiting at PBI. I know many ultra-rich people who fly JetBlue, to my surprise. I was even surprised to see (not-*ultra*-rich) Dan Marino on a JetBlue flight across the aisle from me, after finishing his broadcast duties on CBS for the day. Even so, maybe they did have a charter, but there was a mechanical issue. They didn’t want to hold up the private flight from PBI-Hawaii. Who knows? There are plenty of explanations other than “it was staged”.

  32. @spindrift~ Just to put things in perspective, I am not an American, and do not live in the US. I visit the US frequently, and until recently owned a condo in NYC. (I have sold this since the election, and withdrawn all my assets from the US).
    The rest of the world would be laughing at the stupidity of the US voters, if it wasn’t for the fact that this ignorant clown will drag down everyone in the wake of the US disaster which will unfold. How would it not? Not good times to be an American, hey?

  33. @Mark

    No point in arguing with you that there *may* be a chance that Ivanka and her husband were just trying to get to their holiday destination with three kids in tow, no ulterior motive, no publicity stunt. But you have convinced me with your facts that it was, in fact, a publicity stunt. So, now the burning question is what exactly did the Trump team pay/give the guy to voice his dislike for her father so he would be kicked off the flight and make national news?!? The PR stunt would never have worked without him making a fuss, otherwise how would the world have known they are ‘too cheap’ to fly private or willing to suffer in coach in order to make themselves ‘look better’. Hopefully, someone with deeper pockets can get the guy to confess……

  34. Who cares how much they paid the person. I haven’t seen a single interview with the person who supposedly said these awful things to Ivanka Trump. It’s no different than all the fake news stories they put on Facebook and in other places like Breitbart.com. They are desperate for any sympathy because the Trumps and Kushner’s are not likable people. They are used to 24 karat gold seat belts and 24 karat gold chairs. Nobody flies coach Christmas week unless they have to especially billionaires who could easily hire a private jet. Just admit you took their bait and bought the story. The entire election was based on fake news so why should this be any different.

  35. @CoolHandLuke

    You may not be American but as a human being, I ask that we all show some sense of restraint when it comes to calling names and expressing frustration in a hateful way. I don’t think Americans have a corner on the market for hate…….again, unless that was your original intent then I am posting all this in vain.

    Of course the world is reeling from the result of election day but disrespecting people will not change the course of that and will only divide us even more. I just don’t see how calling Ivanka’s husband deplorable and her children terrible will solve the problems the world faces today. Did saying those things actually make you feel better?

    Glad you were able to liquify your assets in the US and take them to a place that works better for you. Its taking action on a personal level that is much more effective than any post ranting about a woman and her family just going on vacation.

  36. @Mark

    Like I mentioned in my last post, you convinced me with your facts. It was a publicity stunt. But my curiosity is getting the best of me……how was it all orchestrated? To a neophyte like me, I can’t help but think the key element for this fake story is the guy who got kicked off the flight. If he wasn’t a plant, then how could they know flying coach would become national news? There has to be some aspect of the scenario that the Trump team controlled otherwise it would be happenstance/luck that it all came to the forefront. I am interested in your take on what the controlled element was.

  37. TMZ just happened to be on the flight near their row filming when this all came down. How convenient! They most likely planted the two people on the flight, bought their tickets and had this all filmed while tipping off TMZ. Why is this such a big surprise? Most people reading this blog know that traveling Christmas week (especially in coach) is the worst and most risky experience you could ask for. No billionaire with half a brain (not to mention the president elects daughter and grand kids) would take this risk and especially book themselves in coach. The story broke through TMZ and alt right media and then spread from there. Believe what you want but these people are not idiots they know what they are doing. They are desperately trying to humanize Ivanka & Jared Kushner and this blog fell for it BIG TIME! LOL.

  38. Okay, that makes perfect sense. So, my theory that the guy was a controlled element is true. I am still waiting for him to “fess” up to the whole ploy though, I can’t imagine its easy to keep quiet about something like that. Well, we can only hope the plot thickens!

    Curious to how many billionaires you know……..I don’t know any so have no clue as to how they process their decisions (if I did I would be one of them, ha!) But maybe you are pulling my leg about how they would never ever consider flying the week before Christmas. I mean, I did believe the story about Ivanka up until you set me straight. Clearly I need to question everything I read from here on out! Just please don’t tell me there is no Santa Claus, then I will be really bummed.

  39. For those commenting on them flying commercial… in coach, recently Prince William was spotted doing the same thing. Also, Bill Gates for years would only fly coach, even when he certainly had the wealth to afford better. It was probably more of a logistics issue than anything else. 2 adults + 3 children + secret service all need to be on the same flight in close proximity to each other, and this was likely booked on short notice. Chartering a private plane might not have been an option, but this specific JetBlue flight met the necessary criteria. I seriously doubt money had anything to do with the decision.

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