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Man claims he was kicked off plane for ‘taking photo while boarding’

Jimmy Mitchell is demanding an apology from the airline  (TikTok/TheMothFamily)
Jimmy Mitchell is demanding an apology from the airline (TikTok/TheMothFamily)

An Australian man was allegedly removed from a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Brisbane after taking a photo on the tarmac.

Jimmy Mitchell has claimed that a crew member called him an “idiot” for using his phone which led to a confrontation resulting in his removal from the plane.

The incident has sparked debate on social media regarding airline policies and customer treatment.

On Wednesday, Mr Mitchell, with his wife Pauline and two children, were about to board the flight when he took out his phone to click a photo of the family.

He failed to realise that an announcement had been made that stated that passengers were prohibited from using phones on the tarmac due to the refuelling of the plane.

He reportedly said later that he had noise-cancelling headphones on and had not heard the announcement.

While eventually allowed back on board, Mr Mitchell has now demanded an apology from Jetstar, criticising their handling of the situation.

Mr Mitchell shared his experience on TikTok. He recounted that when a crew member attempted to capture his attention to stow away the device, it left him feeling embarrassed and taken aback.

“This is the worst experience I’ve ever had flying,” he said in the clip.

“I try and get on the plane, I take a photo of my kids as they get on the plane, in flight mode, and the lady calls me an idiot.”

The flight attendant reportedly informed Mr Mitchell, whose family had already boarded, that he wouldn’t be allowed to board the flight and “threatened” that police would be awaiting him.

“I can see how she maybe felt I was being intimidating because I am a big guy and I am a loud guy. She turns around to me and goes ‘you almost assaulted me, get off the tarmac, you’re not getting on this plane’.”

Mr Mitchell reportedly returned inside the terminal and awaited further instructions. Eventually he was permitted to board the flight “after cooler heads prevailed”.

He is demanding an apology from the airline for the “stressful” ordeal. He also criticised the airline for their treatment of his family and their failure to allow him to communicate with them about the situation, deeming it entirely unacceptable.

The affected passenger claimed that he was almost reduced to tears.

“It’s one thing that she was completely out of line for calling me an idiot, I can get over that I am a big boy – and you’re probably sitting there going ‘he’s a sook’ and ‘he shouldn’t have reacted that way’ – but next time someone you’re supposed to be a customer of calls you an idiot … you tell me next time how you would react in that situation.”

He said “we travel full time, we do about 25 flights a year and I’ve never had anyone call me an idiot as I boarded a flight. This is, this is absolutely incredible.”

The Independent has contacted the airline for comment.

JetStar told News.com.au that phones are not allowed to be used while on the tarmac “as this is an operational space and we remind customers of this via gate PAs”.

“All our customers and team members have the right to feel respected when flying with us or when at work and we’re looking into what took place in this instance,” the spokesperson said.

On social media, there was a raging debate on the matter. One user wrote: “Take it further and don’t let them get away with what they have done.”

Others said that a staffer calling Mr Mitchell an “idiot” was “unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, in 2017, Jetstar was branded the worst airline in the world, after receiving one star out of five for overall customer satisfaction.