JetBlue Tightens Flight Attendant Dress Code After Cops Called On Elite Passenger

JetBlue called the cops on a passenger who spoke up about a flight attendant who wore a Palestine flag pin on her uniform, and made sure it was visible even while wearing an apron during service and even while her Black Lives Matter pin was covered.

The ten-year elite passenger’s return trip was also cancelled after the crew reported that he made threatening comments, a notion that was disputed by several other passengers on the aircraft.

  • It is possible to wear a Palestinian flag and believe you’re advocating for two states.
  • That isn’t usually what it means. One wears the pin to represent that “from the river to the sea” Jews will be cleansed, and the land will belong to Palestinians.
  • At a minimum the frequency with which this message is attached to the symbol means it’s likely to be understood this way.

The problem here is that the crewmember engaged in personal, political speech on board an aircraft where others were forced to ‘listen’ and when a passenger (reportedly politely) expressed concerns – their own speech – they were punished and met by law enforcement. In other words, the issue is asymmetric speech.

Bringing crewmember politics onto the aircraft, and forcing passengers to remain silent in response under threat of both airline and legal sanction. JetBlue recognized the issue and has updated its uniform policy.

  • Previously flight attendants were permitted one personally-selected pin on their uniform
  • Going forward they’ll be limited to wearing airline-approved pins

Here is JetBlue’s full statement:

As New York’s Hometown Airline, we are proud of our long history welcoming customers of different backgrounds and faiths from around the world. JetBlue does not tolerate discriminatory conduct, and we are committed to providing a respectful and welcoming environment for all our customers and crewmembers. We are taking this matter very seriously and conducting a full investigation into our crewmembers’ actions. We will take appropriate action once our investigation is complete as a result of non-compliance with any JetBlue policies.

At JetBlue, our #1 value is safety, and it guides every decision JetBlue makes. Our crewmembers should be focused on the safety of our flights and delivering a great customer experience. We have changed our uniform policy to make clear that on board the aircraft is not the right place for crewmembers to advocate positions on certain issues or political topics. Going forward crewmembers will only be permitted to wear pins approved or issued by JetBlue.

We had previously identified that our pin policy, which had dated back many years and allowed crewmembers to wear one unoffensive personal pin of their choice, needed to be updated to reflect the current environment. In light of this incident, we urgently expedited this change.

We have reached out to listen to Mr. Faust and offer our apologies for the breakdown in our policies during his flight. We hope with these actions we can welcome him back onto a JetBlue flight in the future.

The airline pledges ‘appropriate action’ once they complete their investigation into the crewmember who called the cops on a passenger for objecting to their political message inflight; has their return flight cancelled; and likely lied about the interaction.

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, 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. @LGSTL – Claiming “Israel fired first” as starting the 1967 Arab-israeli War is pretty silly. Egypt closing shipping lanes to Israeli ships is an act of war. Egypt mobilized its military on the Israeli border. Israel then struck, catching Egypt by surprise.

    I did not ever claim that all actions of Israel are justified – and in fact have recently written the opposite.

  2. @Mak: Again with the completely invalid analogy. Not at all like the French conquered Alsace Loraine or the US conquered California… The people who live in Alsace Loraine and California are citizens of France and the United States, respectively. To be like that, Israel would need to make the people who live in the conquered territories Israeli citizens.

    It is the definition of occupation.

    @Gary: If closing trade routes is an attack, Gaza has been under attack by Israel for decades.

  3. @Gary: excuse me? Countries close shipping lanes to other countries for a variety of reasons.

    To say Israel fired the first shot isn’t silly— it’s an indisputable fact.

    And that’s sort of the point of what is happening in Palestine now.

    Israel has a history of disproportionate retaliation for real and perceived threats.

    It’s the geopolitical equivalent of responding to a slap to the face with a sledgehammer to the skull. Close a shipping lane? Okay our retaliation is to kill thousands of people. Israel had less than 1000 people killed in the Six Day War. The other side has almost 20,000.

    In this current conflict it’s 1500 Israelis to 35000 Palestinians. Of those, 24,000 are civilian women and children.

    So while Hamas is evil beyond comprehension, Israel’s retaliation has always been, since 1948, above and beyond any attacks received and not in all, but many cases— especially in 1967, they fired first shots under the argument that “if they didn’t they other guy would.” Which is BS— there have been plenty of almost conflicts between other countries in modern history that didn’t happen because both sides showed restraint.

    With the current conflict, there has been direct evidence of civilian targeting. Even foreign aid workers were targeted. And when you hear comments out of the Knesset, the Palestinian people are referred to as animals with zero distinction made between them and Hamas. Those that use such language dehumanize and then call the rest of us antisemitism for saying it’s horrific. Antisemitism is the hatred of Jews for the sake of their ethnicity, religion, and history. It is not calling out sh*t behavior by some specific individuals that happen to be Jewish.

  4. “Countries close shipping lanes to other countries for a variety of reasons.”


    Egypt did it to cut off Israel. They massed troops on the border.

  5. Gary, if you can’t park your religion at the door, it would be better for you to not post this issue at all.

    It is one of those matters of no consequence you seem to dredge up on a daily basis. In the rolling ‘ news’ cycle it will be 100% forgotten by tommorow, but it will add a tiny bit more to the perception you are not an un- biased commentator in issues concerning your personal faith.

  6. Are we at a point in this country where airlines should prohibit flight attendants from wearing a cross, a Star of David, or a Crescent and Star? Each of these symbols could be considered threatening by a person who has been on the receiving end of persecutions from each of these religions. Next we could start prohibiting flag pins that offend and cause mental anguish.

  7. No one should be required to park their religion at the door — whether or not in their owned own proverbial home online or otherwise. It’s really uncalled for people to be not free to wear their religion on their sleeve (or head or neck or wherever) and be able to do so without fear of being discriminated against, harassed or even violently attacked on the basis of perceived religious affiliation.

    There are people who find in their own affinity with a shared religion a motivation to oppose the Netanyahu regime’s war on Gaza while others of the same or different religions grant the Netanyahu regime more or less a “get out of jail free” card for the atrocities committed by the Netanyahu regime.

    People shouldn’t underestimate how atrocities against a group of people with a shared cleavage of identity and a related fear of themselves or near and dead ones being violently targeted for future atrocities can motivate people to get radicalized and dehumanize “the other” seen as a “security” threat.

    The gross violence and cycle of violence that has been part and parcel of the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts has made Israelis and Palestinians not only feel less and be less safe but also made people of all the Abrahamic faiths more vulnerable to radicalization and be a fountain of support of extremist violence of one sort or another. And alongside the increased scale and scope of barbaric violence involving such persons, we see increased antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism in general in the US too. The solution to this mess is not to disappear religion or religious identities but to confront and refuse to ride the “otherization” and dehumanization bandwagon which feeds and feeds on bigotry but has questionable political and material objectives that go beyond just verbal expressions of bigotry.

  8. The company should have had in place a dress code prior to this and not allow political type “bling” on their crews uniforms. This isn’t TGI Friday’s it’s a freaking airlines
    El Al has for years used Jet Blue as their connection airline of choice. And I’ve flown them many times when flying to the states from TLV to FTL but I would have walked off this plane had I seen this especially after losing as many friends and acquaintances on kibbutz Nir Oz on the 7th of Oct.

    Gonna think twice before I get on one of their aircraft again.

  9. @ LGSTL, just so you know, there are no “Palestinian people”. Those living in Gaza are Egyptian, and those in the West Bank are Jordanian… so “Palestine” is merely a geographic descriptor, not a “national identity”…

    Pre – 1967, there was no “Palestinian” nationality, the term “Palestinian” in fact pre – 1948 was used prinarily in reference to the Jewish Zionist settlers who started settling the arid wasteland in the 19th century… the current term “Palestinian” is merely a propaganda term cooked up in the 60’s by the terrorist PLO and their main ally, the anti – Semitic and anti – Israel USSR…

    You can go back and read all the old vile 60’s – 70’s Soviet anti – Israel propaganda that was parroted by ‘Pravda’, TASS, and other Soviet media organs – that claptrap and vicious language is *exactly* the same used today to condem Israel and the Jews, it is in fact uncanny…

    Why has Egypt built a strong “Berlin Wall” type of barrier between their country and Gaza, and why has Jordan refused Israel’s kind offer of returning the West Bank to Jordan… hmmm…???

  10. There have been people of the area who have been referred to and referred to themselves as Palestinians since well before 1948, but don’t let the facts get in the way of the obvious racist efforts to obliterate the Palestinian nation and de-legitimize the Palestinian national aspirations to the lands on which they and their ancestors have been since even before there was a British mandate in the area and to which they are entitled under current international law.

    Israel isn’t offering the West Bank territory to Jordan. The Netanyahu regime is actively trying to further colonize the West Bank with foreign-origin Jewish settlers and displace remaining Palestinians across the Israeli-controlled territory of the West Bank. It’s even arming the settlers like crazy and has the government security forces behaving like force protection for rampaging mobs of racist Israeli settlers.

  11. @GUWonder Palestinian nationalism and the PLO has always been a Soviet construct created by the KGB. There was to be sure Arab nationalism, but never Palestinian nationalism until it could be used as a weapon in the Cold War, not only against Israel, but also against US aligned Jordan and it’s Hashemite King which fought a Civil War against the Soviet backed PLO and Palestinians in 1971-72 aided by US aligned Pakistan – resulting in the deaths of about 25,000 “Palestinians” and the expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon.

  12. People who believe the Hamas Health Authority saying Israel murdered 35,000 in Gaza are what Putin used to call “Useful Idiots”. People who did what the KGB wanted without being threatened, bribed, or killed. Hamas’s Useful Idiots. GHA admitted recently they have no documentation on 11,000 deaths reported. Not even the source of the information. But they stand by them. There are at least 12,000 Hamas fighters in the totals. Every civilian death is a tragedy but hiding the military casualties makes it impossible to see the heroic efforts the IDF goes to to avoid civilian casualties. This would be clear when more Hamas fighters are killed than civilians. 12,000 versus 7,000 to 11,000 civilians. That said this is a war Hamas started October 7 by murdering and raping 1200 children, families and concertgoers. Acting like Israel had no right to respond is Hamas speaking. October 5, on the social media campaign started before the slaughter of Israeli civilians, Hamas started blanketing social media with the word genocide and apartheid. Why not accuse Israel of the crimes Hamas was about to commit. The death of civilians is all on Hamas’s head. It will stop when Hamas stops fighting behind civilian human shields, lays down its arms and releases the hostages.

  13. The IDF has avoided making heroic efforts to avoid massive Palestinian civilian casualties in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories since October 7th. And that is even with all the most advanced technology to be had in war nowadays.

    The sheer number of dumb bombs and the explosive power of even the smarter weapons used in one of the most densely populated places on the planet speak to what kind of IDF there has been since Hamas’s barbaric October invasion of Israel.

    Palestinians existed even before there was a Soviet Union.

  14. @ChristopherRaehl
    “Again with the completely invalid analogy. Not at all like the French conquered Alsace Loraine or the US conquered California… The people who live in Alsace Loraine and California are citizens of France and the United States, respectively.

    This is an exceptionally naive and rose colored version of history. What do you think happened to the Germans in Alsace, the Mexicans in California, the Hungarians in Transylvania, the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistani Punjab, the Muslims in Indian Punjab, the Biharis and Sindhis in Bangladesh, ethnic Germans in what is now Czech Republic, Poland, the Moors in Spain, Catholics in Northern Ireland, Isaaq in Somalia, Eritreans in Ethiopia, etc., etc., etc. Most of them were deported if lucky, and killed if not, and those that remained were subjugated to the new order. To think that the people we call “Palestinians” are somehow unique in history is an idea borne not only of ignorance, but can only exist by virtue of prejudice that exists for Jews in Europe and that has been exported to much of the world through leftist politics and religion. The only thing unique about the Palestinians is the joy with which self-styled heroes urge them on to continue to refuse reality and fight 4 generations later as if they are sacrificial animals who exist to satisfy their own hatreds while their advocates happily live their lives far away from the chaos they cause.

  15. JetBlue will now have a list of whitelisted pins. The question is who’s the next passenger to feel threatened and complain.

    JetBlue should have either banned all or just updated pin display to the specific problem… that the attendant chose to consciously move one pin over her apron while leaving the others hidden.

  16. @GUWonder
    “Mak still with Falun Gong?”

    I’m afraid I don’t understand the comment. Among the last people in the world I care to be associated with are the insane and hateful cultists at Falun Gong.

  17. Only in an upside down world does someone believe that the prejudice which exists against Jews and which has been exported from Europe to much of the world was done via leftist politics and religion. In fact, modern antisemitism was driven both initially and overwhelmingly by right-wing “nationalists”, right-wing religious zealots and those playing to such fans of communal punishment.

  18. GUWonder
    “Only in an upside down world does someone believe that the prejudice which exists against Jews and which has been exported from Europe to much of the world was done via leftist politics and religion.”

    I know this to be true from hard evidence. Hitler was defeated and the “far-right” with it. Stalin however was not defeated and was as much a believer in Jewish conspiracy theories – rooted in Russian Imperial Nationalism that created the first massacres of Jews in Europe – since before the War and the existence of Nazis – and after the war become exported a a tool of Soviet propaganda aimed against US and Western interests as well as fueled their own prejudices which led to the persecution of Jews in the USSR. KGB spy Jack Barsky when caught explained “There’s three things I tell people that the Russians were afraid of: AIDS, Jewish people and Ronald Reagan.”

    Left-wing activism, combined with Christian blood libels and Muslim chauvinism that have been spread far and wide are certainly much more responsible for antisemitic thought in 2024 than fringe and powerless “far-right.” This has become increasingly obvious to people int he United States, Europe, and South America (the latter of which had no material antisemitism until Leftists like Lula and Petro came to power, while their right wing opponents like Milei and Bolsonaro are generally philosemites).

    But still unsure what this has to do with Falun Gong, which for whatever nuttiness they express doesn’t seem to implicate Jews or antisemitism as far as I’m aware.

  19. @Mak: At least for Alsace Loraine: My family is from there. In the 1870’s when the territory moved from France to Germany, essentially, nothing – people just became German citizens. After WWI, when it reverted back, France expelled Germans who had moved there since 1870, and anyone there before that (and their descendants) became French again. Note that the Germans expelled were GERMANS, so they had Germany to go to – unlike Palestinians, who were not Jordanian citizens.

    California in the 1800’s… yeah, the conquest of California was followed by the US genocide of the native population. (NOT the Mexican population; there essentially wasn’t one; but of the indigenous people there prior to Europeans. Prior to US conquest California had only a couple thousand Mexicans and 150,000 indigenous people. Then the gold rush happened and a buncha white people rushed in and exterminated the indigenous people.)

    Many of the rest of your examples are silly – for example, the Catholics in Northern Ireland… are UK Citizens!

    But all that aside, your “argument” actually proves the point: If you believe Israel in Palestine is fine because it’s no different than the US in California, then you’re just saying you believe Israel is ALSO committing genocide in Palestine, and you think genocide is OK.

    As for the preposterous notion that anti-semitism is driven by leftist politics/religion… Were there a buncha leftists holding those torches in Charlottesville?

  20. I forgot to add, unlike Germans who had moved to Alsace Loraine between 1870 and WWI , the Palestinians are descended from people who had lived in Palestine for hundreds of years.

  21. This reminds me of the movie Office Space where the waitress was encouraged by the idiot boss to express herself with more flair.
    If you’re going to have a uniform, have uniformity. No religious or political expressions. Stick to good customer service.

  22. @Jesda: A Palestinian is a national expression, no different than wearing an American flag.

    If you allow flags, then you allow flags. If a passenger takes offense at a FA wearing a national flag, that’s their problem.

    Isn’t the real prejudice here the passenger who assumed someone who is Palestinian also hates him because he’s Jewish? Why would he assume such a thing?

    Is it possibly because members of his religion are massacring civilians in the country the FA is from?

    Whose fault is that?

  23. @ChristopherRaehl Sometimes we think we know things that we don’t, and I suggest you are one of those people. If you think WWI wasn’t bloody, and both in the Franco-Prussian War and WWI, and that the population did nothing except get new passports, you might benefit from some history lessons. Likewise, if you don’t realize that Mexicans in California, Arizona, and Texas were subject to mass expulsions systematically and until at least 1935 – even when they had US citizenship – you again are speaking about something you know little about and you might find a history book about the subject to be enlightening.

    Likewise the distinctions you try to cast are actually not that at all. Yes, Catholics in Northern Ireland have UK citizenship, but so do Arab Israelis and Arabs in Annexed areas like Jerusalem have the same rights to citizenship. In any case, I don’t think that Catholics in Derry or Belfast would consider that much solace, nor would Basque or Catolonian Spanish citizens, Papuan Indonesians, Hungarian Romanians, Romanian Croatians, Aboriginal Tasmanian Australians . . . oh wait, Colonial Australia killed them all and they are now an extinct race of man. There is simply nothing special about Israel except that it’s got a Jewish majority, and my own conclusion about your comments is that this is what drives your hostility as well.

  24. Christopher Raehl
    “Is it possibly because members of his religion are massacring civilians in the country the FA is from?”

    I’m surprised it needs to be said, but if you are hostile to somebody because somebody of the same religion or race is doing something you don’t like, you are a racist . . . this is classic blood libel. Imagine somebody saying that they have hostility to blacks because they were mugged by a black person . . . racist? Of course. This comment is the same.

  25. Mak seems mainly worried about comments about Israel’s killings than about Israel’s killing mainly lots of non-combatant Palestinian civilians. In other words, the awful civilian death count doesn’t frustrate Mak, but the comments frustrate. What a world full of characters without character.

  26. @GUWonder
    “Mak seems mainly worried about comments about Israel’s killings than about Israel’s killing mainly lots of non-combatant Palestinian civilians. In other words, the awful civilian death count doesn’t frustrate Mak, but the comments frustrate. What a world full of characters without character.”

    I am frustrated by the civilian death count, which is entirely created by Hamas’ mass rape, torture, murder and kidnapping against innocent civilians on October 7 and which could have been avoided had Hamas unconditionally surrendered and released its Israeli, American, Brazilian, Argentine, British, French, Mexican, Tanzanian, and Chinese hostages, but which I consider a remarkable achievement by Israeli forces in keeping the civilian:combatant casualty ratio at a shockingly low rate of roughly 1:1, which is much better than my own government’s ratio of 9:1 in urban combat, particularly against a Hamas army that doesn’t wear uniforms as demanded by the International Law of War to help distinguish combatants from civilians and which embeds itself as tightly into the civilian community and infrastructure as possible so as to use the population as human shields.

    I am not indifferent to suffering, but I don’t engage in moral relativism and appreciate the difference between good and evil, and easily understand why Israel needs to destroy Hamas the same way that the Allies destroyed Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and the same way that China destroyed the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Sri Lanka destroyed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the US/UK and allies destroyed al-Qaeda and Islamic State – all of which happened with greater collateral damage than we are seeing in Gaza but which nonetheless was proper.

    This will end as soon as Hamas says it’s over, lays down their arms, and releases it’s hostages, or when they are all dead or captured. Hamas can save Gaza if it wants to . . . and it doesn’t seem to want to. Neither Israel nor any other nation in the world is required to sacrifice its own citizens to unending mass murder and brutality to avoid collateral damage to its enemies, and I certainly hope that Israel will have the moral fortitude to do what is right and end Hamas by any means necessary.

  27. Religion is a collectivist operation driven by ideology.
    If you don’t understand that, consider cognitive dissonance.
    Evidence rules life, and the evidence is that religion poisons rationality.There are no gods, and never were, or will be. Faith hates evidence.

  28. What I’ve determined from this conversation is that @Mak supports genocide. If your military can, kill ’em all.

    That perspective does support current Israeli (the government) policy.

  29. Its showing how many people in society didn’t know anyone from World War II. I would almost bet my life’s income that if we had social media & the internet back in the 1940s, Hitler & the Imperial Japanese Army/Navy would still be in power today.

    Imagine the pics after we firebombed Tokyo. Dresden. heck, can you imagine a live-feed from Hiroshima?

    Bravo to JetBlue for taking a quick action – as they’d quickly have to consider downsizing PBI and FLL if they support anti-sematic views.

  30. Christopher Raehl says:
    “What I’ve determined from this conversation is that @Mak supports genocide. If your military can, kill ’em all.”

    What you may take from this conversation is that I know what genocide is, and collateral damage in a legitimate war of self-defense isn’t it. You may also take that I lack your infantile sense of sentimentality such that I’m willing to accept the trade offs of destroying evil, while you are not. You have already made clear that you don’t believe Jews have the right to live where they were born, and resent Jews wherever in the world they happen to live, and I don’t agree, and no decent people do. I don’t think people like you care at all about Palestinians, or actual genocide, but hope to see more dead Jews, and I don’t think that is at all virtuous. Rhetoric like yours makes it clear to me that Israel must win at all costs.

  31. What’s the term for ceasefire in Arabic? It seems that it was translated wrong for Hamas, otherwise it’s impossible to explain their unwarranted and unprovoked massacre on the Jews on October 7th where not only were civilians targeted and killed, but tortured and violently raped, including female genital mutilation. The horror!

    What response would be proportionate? Israel is doing the West a favor by eliminating Hamas. Hamas would consider their flight attendant supporter, along with all of their Western supporters, “useful idiots,” to be done away with at a later time. Wise up, JetBlue!

  32. The arab world was offered a two-state solution five times. They turned down all of them. This has been said for decades, only lastly by former Secy of State Clinton.

    The expat Egyptians living west of Israel want to own all the land “from the river to the sea” and took the interesting move to get there by a terrorist attack, killing thousands, abducting hundreds, and raping, multiating, burning, and killing the rest.

    Make up whatever numbers you like or believe whatever made up number Hamas Heatlh Ministry (tm?) has. There are not 37000 dead, 35000 dead, 34000 dead, or (as said above) 24000 dead.

    There is no famine, and as for lack of fuel, just look at yesterday’s international media pictures of “people leaving Rafah”… all in a caravan of back to back pickup trucks. You know, two people to a car, all fueled up and everything. Lots of cargo. Like a lot more than we’re supposed to take off a burning aircraft.

    The narrative has been spun, and people will confirmation bias believe whatever they want. BUT… if you want to claim you’re discussing this topic from knowledge of history …. from a true humanitarian standpoint… and objectively, just google it. Google Secy Clinton’s note. Google how Hamas Health Ministry’s numbers don’t add up for any subgroup other than women. Google how “children” includes 13-18 year old terrorists lobbing grenades at shoulders. Is this your “child”?

    When 9/11 happened did the world care how old the terrorists were and tell the US not to enter into Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. (all unrelated countries)? No.

    Terrorists cause terror. They kill. They deserve death. That includes terrorists who make “demands” upon US companies as to whom to do business with or how to invest their funds, and if not, they’ll trespass, burglarize, violate, harm, threaten, and “occupy.”

    Occupy. The new name for domestic terorrism by entitled kids who want the university’s land for their pulpit. Not much different than terrorists who want all of Israel for their pulpit.

    All hail the religion of peace. Hint: It’s not Islam.

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