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Flights: JetBlue passenger kicked off plane after angry rant in viral video | Travel News | Travel





A JetBlue female passenger shocked passengers when she went on a furious tirade leading to her being removed from a flight. The woman, identified as Valerie Gonzalez, 32, by Florida TV station CBS Miami, had boarded the flight to Las Vegas from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport in Florida, USA on 14 February when she allegedly became aggressive. She is said to have initially become incensed when she found herself sitting next to a child on the plane. Gonzalez said she had been drinking and so didn’t want to be sat there. “I’m not sitting next to a f****** three-year-old, I’ve been drinking all day,” she said, according to CBS Miami.

The irate passenger then moved to a different seat which had not been assigned to her.

Gonzalez is believed to have subsequently found fault with the people in front of her.

In the video, she can be heard saying she’d called them “old… because they were,” in her profanity-ridden diatribe.

The footage shows her speaking on the phone to someone, saying loudly, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Apparently annoyed by people filming her she appears to then spit on the person in front. “Did she just spit on you?” an alarmed woman can be heard saying.

Gonzalez proceeds to get even angrier as she asks passengers repeatedly, “What did I do?” yelling: “If you wanna make this viral, make it viral,” at those filming.

As she gets her stuff together to leave, she says: “My mum’s going to be so proud of me tomorrow. I don’t give a f***. I didn’t do anything, I sat down in my seat.”

Gonzalez then blows kisses to those filming the incident, crying out” “Who’s taping this?” As others approach she shouts, “Don’t touch my s***.”

A cabin crew member stands nearby speaking into her radio, as the woman collects her bags – sunglasses on and earphones in.

As she leaves the plane, she cries: “Because I called someone old, I get kicked off a f**king plane. “Bye! Enjoy yourself in Vegas, babies! Vegas, baby, Vegas. I’ll be there in an hour.”

According to CBS Miami, she was escorted off the plane by a Broward Sheriff’s deputy.

The site reported that her arrest report said Gonzalez then attempted to get back on the plane and hit a gate agent who blocked her path.

Another passenger reportedly claimed Gonzalez had sat next to her and hit her on the arm when she refused to switch seats.

The 32-year-old was eventually arrested when she refused to walk or obey the officer’s orders.

She was placed in a wheelchair with her legs in restraints to prevent her from kicking anyone.

Gonzalez appeared in court on Friday and remained mostly silent, reported CBS Miami. She has been charged with battery.

Following the incident, JetBlue issued the statement: “On Thursday, February 14 – during the boarding of flight 7 from Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas – crew members reported a disruptive customer onboard.

“Local law enforcement was called and the customer was removed from the flight. Additional details should be directed to Broward County Sheriff’s Office.”

This is far from the first time a passenger has been filmed growing aggressive on a flight. One woman was filmed fat-shaming two other passengers.


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Travel & Escape

Christmas travel rules explained: From advance train tickets to travelling abroad from Tier 3 airports





Q: Normally trains would be packed over the busy Christmas period. Do you have to get advance train tickets to ensure you have a seat? And what happens if a train is cancelled?

A: Sir Peter Hendy has been tasked with overseeing travel during the Christmas period by the Department for Transport. By analysing bookings and searches, the Chairman of Network Rail is looking at whether the current, reduced, infrastructure is prepared for a surge in passenger numbers with reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. The DfT is advising passengers to buy advance tickets to ensure they have a seat, and some operators such as LNER, are making them mandatory. 

On GWR services between London and the West, not all standard services will be reservable, but for those that are, GWR says “we’ll automatically allocate you a space if one is available or ask you to try another service if not. We always leave space on board for those with walk-up tickets, such as season tickets, or those who may have been disrupted.” 

Avanti West Coast is advising passengers to make advance reservations and has also relaxed its Christmas peak so that demand is spread over the period. It will be operating trains at 40-45 per cent capacity. 

Disruption is guaranteed on some parts of the network, with no trains operating from London Kings Cross between 25-30 December. LNER says: “Please do not travel to London on these dates. Trains either side of these dates will likely be busy.” It also advises against travelling on Christmas Eve and between 31 December and 3 January. 

GWR’s Night Riviera service between London Paddington and Penzance will pause between 24 December and 2 January. Engineering work is scheduled to take place on Northern routes either side of Christmas, too. 

If unforeseen cancellations arise, the Rail Delivery Group is offering reassurance that space is left on each service to allow for emergencies and cancellations. Agreements can be put in place with other operators, depending on the disruption, such as cross-acceptance of tickets. A spokesperson told i:  “contingency plans are in place and they will be very strong.” For example, if the last train of the day is cancelled, onward transport by other means could be arranged.

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Travel & Escape

Delta launching contact tracing program for international travel





Delta announced Tuesday it will debut a new contact tracing program for international travelers returning to the United States.

The company said the program is in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program, slated to start December 15, will ask customers traveling to the U.S. from an “international location to voluntarily provide five pieces of data to aid contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts,” including:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Address in the U.S.
  • Primary phone
  • Secondary phone

Delta said that under the new process, they will work with the CDC to streamline contact-tracing efforts by “directly and securely transmitting the five requested customer data points to the CDC via U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” Delta said this move will give the CDC access to the data fast, decreasing the time it takes to notify impacted customers. According to Delta, “by connecting with customers more quickly and providing public health follow-up, health authorities can help reduce instances of potential exposure and slow the spread of the virus.”

“Independent studies have shown that the many layers of protection Delta has already put in place are effectively minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and contact tracing adds one more important layer to our efforts to ensure safety throughout travel,” Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer said in a statement. “We want customers to feel safe when they return to travel, and this voluntary program is another way we can provide additional reassurance to customers and employees alike.”

Delta recently announced a COVID-19 testing program that allows a quarantine-free entry into Italy for the first time. The airline also remains the only airline blocking middle seats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Travel & Escape

Delta unveils ‘quarantine-free, COVID-free’ plan to resume international travel





International flights are currently limited at Orlando International Airport because of travel restrictions, but there is some hope on the horizon.

This week, Delta announced what it’s calling a “quarantine-free, COVID-free” plan to get people from Atlanta to Rome.

U.S. citizens who are permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons like work, health and education can take part in the innovative and experimental flight program.

Delta stated passengers will need to have a negative test result 72 hours before departure, then they will need to test negative with a rapid test at the Atlanta International Airport before takeoff, upon arriving in Rome and before returning to the U.S.

“Carefully designed COVID-19 testing protocols are the best path for resuming international travel safely and without quarantine until vaccinations are widely in place,” Delta said in a prepared statement.

The program begins Dec. 19.

Industry experts said they’re really hoping Delta’s new plan becomes some sort of a role model, saying it could be the key to safely restarting international travel.

“As the tourism sector tries to recover, to have that additional influx of tourists from outside United States would be a welcome occurrence,” said Dr. Sean Snaith with the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting.

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