What to Know
- Former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato was kicked off a JetBlue flight Monday evening after a lengthy delay led to an outburst
- A video posted to Facebook shows a clearly agitated D'Amato urging fellow passengers to get off with him
- A spokeman said D'Amato had apologized for his outburst and JetBlue apologized for its reaction
Former New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato was escorted off a JetBlue flight in Florida after a delay led the senator to loudly protest.
"This is Broward County Sheriffs office escorting former Senator Alfonse D'Amato off the plane for complaining about the delay and asking for fellow passengers to please move to back of plane so we can fly," a Facebook user named Jacqueline Galante posted to her page Monday afternoon.
The video shows a clearly agitated D'Amato being escorted off the plane by law enforcement, as he yells at fellow passengers to join him.
"We can still speak in this country and what they're doing to me ... I make an appeal to all you people. You wana know why? Stand up for what's right and walk out with me!" D'Amato said.
The sheriff's office referred calls to the airline. JetBlue, in a statement, confirmed that a passenger was removed from flight 1002, which was scheduled to travel from Ft. Lauderdale to New York.
"If a customer is causing a conflict on the aircraft, it is standard procedure to ask the customer to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs a risk of escalation in-flight," the airline said.
A spokesman for D'Amato said the senator spoke out after a long trip to visit an ailing friend, followed by a lengthy flight delay. Data from flight tracking website FlightAware showed that the plane ultimately left Ft. Lauderdale more than six hours behind schedule.
"Jet Blue has apologized to the Senator for over reacting and the Senator apologized for speaking his mind at a time when he clearly had left his patience at the gate," the spokesman said.
D'Amato, 79, served three terms in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1999.