A Little Birdie Told Me


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I am constantly using twitter as a makeshift diary, and apparently I am not the only one. JetBlue passenger Lisa Carter Knight, was kicked off the plane over her live tweets about why her flight got delayed.

Flight 760, a JetBlue flight departing from Philadelphia to Boston, was behind schedule an hour. As a crowd waited in the jetway, a passenger joked that he hoped the bar was fully stocked. Moments later, from probable miscommunication, the pilot told the passengers he had been accused of drinking, and now had to undergo a sobriety test.

After hearing this news, Lisa Carter Knight began live tweeting her experience.

One of her tweets read “#Jetblue Major debacle on flight 760 in Philly- pilot accuses passengers of accusing him of being intoxicated demands all passengers back.”

Knight continued to tweet a play by play of the delay, including pictures of the pilot exiting the plane to take his sobriety test. All of her tweets can be viewed in this video from ABC 6 Action News.

The pilot ended up passing his sobriety test, and all passengers were allowed back on board, except Knight.

“JetBlue has denied me service back to Boston because a pilot made a decision that my social media interaction with my friends and family was not appropriate and was not going to be tolerated by him,’ wrote Knight. ‘So, I was thrown off the flight tonight.”

According to JetBlue, they did not remove Knight because of her tweets. They only remove customers from flights who they feel are disruptive or exhibit objectionable behavior.

According to Forbes.com, JetBlue has a respectable reputation. JetBlue lands #2 on America’s Best Airlines 2014.

Is this occurrence atypical of an admired airline? Or does an incident like this remind us that we have only scratched the surface of the social media era?

I believe that social media acts as a double-edged sword for businesses.The speed at which personal information travels and surfaces leaves little time for rational reaction. Perhaps JetBlue is still figuring out how to handle large amounts of unprecedented feedback, which as we have seen in this case, is not always pleasant.

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4 Responses to A Little Birdie Told Me

  1. melissatantillo says:

    This story is one that will probably come up a lot over the next few generations. The line between privacy and publicity has been blurred due to the effects of the growing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I don’t think it is right for this woman to be kicked off of the flight for voicing her opinion. However, I do believe that the airline crew always acts in the best interest of those who are flying with them.

    If Jet Blue was keeping its flyers safe, then they are doing their job. Ms. Knight should have just kept her mouth shut until she got home. I know delayed flights can be a bit of a hassle but no one wants to go through what she had to go through. This all could have been avoided.

  2. Emily Dorso says:

    I believe this incident falls directly under the airline’s loyalty to the safety of its customers. It is an airlines responsibility to keep its customers safe and feeling secure. If anyone on this flight, specifically the pilot, felt threatened by a passenger, it was in the airline and customers’ best interest to remove such threat from the plane. If other passengers were tweeting about the unfortunate JetBlue delay at this time, but were not additionally removed from the flight, that means Knight was causing an additional commotion on the plane, therefore giving JetBlue the right to remove her form the flight.

    However, regardless of her actions on the flight, Knight is a prime example of the serious consequences surrounding social media. By choosing to directly hashtag JetBlue in her complaining tweets, she opened the door to receive backlash. Freedom of speech is a right granted to each citizen of the United States, but that does not mean freedom of speech without consequence, which was ultimately what Knight was hoping for.

    I believe JetBlue handled the situation very well from a PR standpoint. Yes, this story made headlines, but JetBlue would face harsher PR complications if anything in fact had occurred on that flight with Ms. Knight.

  3. Gina Saccone says:

    I think that this story is particularly interesting because there is always so much controversy circling around the safety of aircrafts and flying, and its crazy how a simple tweet on social media is something that can set off such a roller coaster of events.

    I don’t feel like the airline was in the wrong to prohibit this woman from flying, but I feel like they could of investigated the situation a little deeper instead of jumping to such a dramatic situation. We see situations everyday where we wish that those in charge we take more seriously, and then we see things like this and we know that the woman was not of any harm, and was just angry because of her delay.

  4. nicole mcgrory says:

    This is a tough situation where I can see and agree with both sides. When I’m annoyed or angry, I usually express it through Twitter. I see Lisa Carter Knight’s side and why she is so frustrated about not being able to fly home to her kids all due to tweets. But I think it is more important for JetBlue to keep the plane safe and comfortable for all passengers, and having Lisa removed was for the greater good of all those on the plane.

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