By MAKEET FINCH
A Brooklyn resident is threatening to sue Jet Blue Airlines where he says he was a victim of racial discrimination and kicked off the aircraft
Shaun Lynda in a recent press conference at Borough Hall said that on November 20th he was boarding Jet Blue flight 5062 from Barbados to JFK to make it home to his family for Thanksgiving when he says his plans were canceled
His flight was delayed by a day when he says he missed the holiday with his family
“Thanksgiving should not turn into a misgiving-We’re going to personally reach out to Jet Blue And in and addition to that I’m sure there’s going to be actions based on Shaun’s attorney,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams who supported the complainant’s actions.
Lynda, who is African American and stands 6 ft. 4 in., said he was made to “feel like a dog” by a flight attendant before being escorted off the plane by security.
Lynda alleged that the problem started with a delay when he observed a family of four walk up and down the aisle frustrated due to their luggage not fitting directly above their seats.
He then observed a flight attendant tell the family who were white that they were moving them up for extra leg seating
“Everyone around me was kinda shocked-we were all looking at why we’re they being rewarded,” said Lynda
“I simply asked a question,” said Lynda “Why was the family being upgraded? The flight attendant looked at me, snapped and said, ‘It’s none of your business.'”
Lynda said a Jet Blue employee intervened and offered him a upgraded seat as well, which he accepted as passengers applauded the actions of the employee but immediately was told to return back to his original seat
He says he complied and once seated he noticed the original flight attendant walk towards him, kneel down on one knee, start patting him on his leg and ask him if he was going to behave himself
“Why would you ask me that question?” Lynda said he asked her. “I’m a educated man why would I not behave.”
He says the flight attendant then got up heading towards the cockpit to the pilot; minutes later Lynda was made aware he would be removed from the aircraft and began recording a video as he was being escorted by police asking passengers if he did anything wrong as passengers replied that he didn’t.
“When will the airlines get it right that this is not how you treat passengers Shaun was treated differently and seems to have this image,” Adams said,“tall black man with locks so we need to immediately called the police.”
Jet Blue said the decision to remove Lynda from the flight was not based on race. They said he did not want to pay for an upgraded seat.
In a statement, Jet Blue said in part: “The customer became angry and used inappropriate language with crew members and as the situation risk further escalation in the air after takeoff, the crew determined the customer would need to be rebooked on a different flight.”
However, Lynda does not agree with Jet Blue’s version of the incident and called the statement a “complete lie”
“There was never any talk of fees, or cost or anything of that nature. I was not shouting, I don’t use profanity. I was not cursing in any way, I was merely asking a question, “said Lynda
“There’s inconsistencies In their stories and In policing we call that a lie,’” said Adams.
Lynda has filed a official complaint was filed with Jet Blue and is exploring his legal actions.