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Family claims JetBlue booted them after baby daughter kicked seat

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 20/07/2017 MEERA JAGANNATHAN

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Video provided by FOX News

An outraged Brooklyn couple says JetBlue booted them from a flight after their 1-year-old daughter kicked a seat — while the airline blames their removal on “a verbal altercation that included physical threats.”

Mandy Ifrah and her husband, Tamir Raanan, were on the runway returning to Kennedy Airport from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last month when antsy, cranky baby Eden started kicking a fellow flyer’s seat, Ifrah told the Daily News on Wednesday.

Ifrah apologized, and the annoyed passenger stood to change seats. The mother of three then focused on calming her fussy daughter, while the woman seated in front of them complained to her travel companion, Ifrah said.

"Before we know it, the pilot says we’re going back to the gate — and then security came onto the flight and said we have to get our things and get off the flight," Ifrah told The News. "We kept asking, 'What’s the reason you’re kicking us off the flight?'"

"Other passengers said, 'Nothing happened, it’s not right, let’s just leave,'" she added.

Video shot aboard the June 21 flight shows the mother protesting a JetBlue flight attendant’s requests for the family of five to deplane.

“I need to get back to New York. I need my kids back home,” Ifrah says off-camera. “This is ridiculous ... I’m not getting off the plane. I have three kids. Where do you want me to go?”

A JetBlue plane is pictured on the tarmac of the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. © REUTERS/Lucas Jackson A JetBlue plane is pictured on the tarmac of the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. A deputy from the Broward Sheriff’s Office ultimately intervened in the dispute.

The family wound up booking a hotel room and working to find an alternate flight, their Florida-based attorney, David Templer, told The News.

But their luggage remained on the plane — and when they finally landed in New York, JetBlue said the bags had been sent back to the Sunshine State. The family was reunited with its belongings a week later.

"I had no diapers, no baby wipes, no clothes for them," Ifrah recalled the night of the incident. "I was left with nothing."

Raanan and Ifrah also learned they were banned from flying JetBlue while the company investigated the incident, Templer said.

JetBlue strongly disputed Ifrah’s account of the untimely ouster.

“After a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanities against a nearby customer, the aircraft door was reopened and our airports team politely asked the customers to step off to discuss the situation,” the company told The News in a statement.

“The customers refused repeated requests and our crewmembers deplaned the entire aircraft. Law enforcement escorted them out of the gate area and we provided a refund.”

The family wasn’t kicked off “due to the actions of their children,” the airline added.

“We are investigating whether the customers’ behavior warrants restrictions on JetBlue travel and we thank our crewmembers for their professional handling of this unfortunate incident,” JetBlue said.

Templer called the airline's claims "total nonsense" — arguing that authorities hadn't questioned the other passenger involved, a mom traveling with young children wouldn't use profanity, and JetBlue hadn't lodged any complaint regarding threats of violence.

"I would never in my life talk like that in front of my kids or anywhere," Ifrah told The News. "That’s not who I am."

At first, all the family wanted was a JetBlue explanation and apology for their treatment. But Templer, in light of what he called the airline's "defamatory statement," said he is weighing potential legal action.

"Maybe a lawsuit is appropriate, but let’s see," he said. "Maybe things calm down as quickly as they heated up."

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