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9 Oct, 2014 01:31

​Passenger kicked off flight after live-tweeting pilot’s sobriety test

​Passenger kicked off flight after live-tweeting pilot’s sobriety test

A passenger at Philadelphia International Airport claims she was kicked off a JetBlue flight after she shared the details of her trip’s three-hour delay on Twitter, which involved a sobriety test for the pilot.

The incident occurred Tuesday evening, when Lisa Carter-Knight told a local news network she was booted out of a flight to Boston by the pilot himself – after another passenger made a joke that ended up grounding the plane for hours. Apparently, when a pilot overheard the joke, he believed he was accused of being drunk.

"We had been waiting an hour, so there was a joke by another passenger - it had been a long night and he hoped there was a fully stocked bar on the airplane,” Carter-Knight said to local ABC affiliate WPVI. “The pilot ran out and said 'that's it, everybody out by the gate.' I've been accused of being intoxicated.”

#JetBlue Major debacle on flight 760 in Philly- pilot accuses passengers of accusing him of being intoxicated demands all passengers back

— Lisa Carter-Knight (@drinkwaterevent) October 8, 2014

#wmur Philly Boston flight 760 grounded due to unruly pilot - false accusations by pilot that his sobriety was questioned by passengers

— Lisa Carter-Knight (@drinkwaterevent) October 8, 2014

The pilot reportedly claimed that such an accusation meant he was legally obligated to take a sobriety test before taking off. Although the JetBlue flight was slated to take off around 8:30 p.m., it was delayed for more than three hours while the test was administered.

“As a precautionary measure, a sobriety test was conducted,” JetBlue said in a statement to CBS Philadelphia. “The test demonstrated the pilot was sober and he was cleared to perform his duties.”

During this time, Carter-Knight posted a series of tweets detailing the delay. She said the pilot falsely accused other passengers of questioning his sobriety, described him as “irate” in one tweet.

Philyflight760. Still grounded as authorities board plane for pilot sobriety test pic.twitter.com/8qOU6UaYqB

— Lisa Carter-Knight (@drinkwaterevent) October 8, 2014

When the time came to board the plane, however, Carter-Knight found that she was not allowed, thanks to her Twitter coverage of the event.

"I never accused the pilot of being drunk,” she said. “I simply was communicating with family that was concerned that I was still on the ground in Philadelphia."

Nonetheless, Carter-Knight ended up flying back to Boston on a separate airline the next morning.

In another statement to WPVI, JetBlue responded to Carter-Knight’s complaints.

"It is not our practice to remove a customer for expressing criticism of their experience in any medium,” the statement reads. “We will remove a customer if they are disruptive and the crew evaluates that there is a risk of escalation which could lead to an unsafe environment. The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly."

"If we feel a customer is not complying with safety instructions, exhibits objectionable behavior or causes conflict at the gate or on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane or will be denied boarding especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of accelerating in the air. In this instance, the customer received a refund and chose to fly on another carrier."

Jet Blue denied me access tonight to a flight home to my three children.Thanks for supporting single working mothers.#philyjetblue760

— Lisa Carter-Knight (@drinkwaterevent) October 8, 2014