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Mother claims family forced off plane after baby kicked seat

Posted at 2:19 AM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 02:19:00-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (WPLG/CNN) – A family of five says they were kicked off a JetBlue flight in south Florida when their baby kicked the seat in front of her, but the airline says the parents’ behavior was to blame for the incident.

Mandy Ifrah, a mother of three, says she and her family were traveling home to New York on July 2 after attending a wedding when they were forced off their flight.

The plane had left the gate when Ifrah’s 1-year-old daughter, Eden, began kicking the seat of the passenger in front of the family, Ifrah says.

The mother says she apologized to the passenger, and they exchanged words before the passenger changed seats.

"The plane at that point just turns back around, goes back to the gate, and security from JetBlue gets onto the flight and tells me and my family and I to grab our things and get off the plane,” Ifrah said.

The airline says the family was not asked to leave because of their baby but because the adults began making threats.

"After a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanities against a nearby customer, the aircraft door was reopened, and our airport's team politely asked the customers to step off to discuss the situation. The customers refused repeated requests, and our crew members deplaned the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area, and we provided a refund,” said JetBlue in a statement.

Ifrah denies the airline’s allegations. She also says the family was stranded after they were removed from the flight and had to find another flight home, which left the next day.

Parts of two exchanges between the Ifrahs and a flight attendant on the plane as well as at the gate were captured on video.

The family says when they left the flight, they weren’t allowed to take any luggage with them, and it took a week for their bags to be returned after they arrived home.

In addition, the Ifrahs claim they were banned from all future JetBlue flights while the incident is under investigation, and they weren’t given a reason for the decision.

"We are investigating whether the customers' behavior warrants restrictions on JetBlue travel, and we thank our crew members for their professional handling of this unfortunate incident,” said the airline in a statement.

Ifrah says she would simply like an apology from JetBlue.

"It was just embarrassing. It was... it was horrible,” she said.

Copyright 2017 WPLG, Ifrah Family, Skype, Surain Adyanthaya, Maria De Los Angeles Baida via CNN. All rights reserved.