23 Dec 2016

Passenger removed from flight after criticising Ivanka Trump

11:30 am on 23 December 2016

An airline passenger who allegedly made angry remarks when he found Ivanka Trump was on his flight was removed from the plane by the airline.

Jared Kushner is married to Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka.

Ivanka Trump with husband Jared Kushner. Photo: AFP

A passenger, Marc Scheff, who saw the incident on the JetBlue Airways flight departing New York's John F. Kennedy airport said that when the man saw President-elect Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, he "did a double take and said, 'Oh my God. This is a nightmare!'"

Mr Scheff, who said he was sitting in the row in front of Ivanka Trump on the flight, which was set to take off for San Francisco, the passenger "started shaking."

After JetBlue staff approached the man to "make sure he was calm," Mr Scheff said the passenger said, "They ruin our country, now try (to) ruin our flight!"

Mr Scheff said the passenger was "clearly agitated" but did not "scream or yell."

JetBlue Airways confirmed in a statement that a passenger had been removed from a flight set to depart from JFK International Airport, but provided no information about what happened.

"The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly," JetBlue said in a written statement. "In this instance, our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight."

Reuters was not able to identify the passenger who was removed.

A Twitter user cited by TMZ, Matthew Lasner, said his husband was going to confront Ms Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, at the airport.

"Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial," wrote Matthew Lasner (@mattlasner) in the since-deleted tweet. "My husband chasing them down to harass them. #banalityofevil."

Mr Lasner, a professor at New York's Hunter College, did not respond to requests for comment directed to his Twitter account, which has since been taken offline, or to messages left at his office or sent to his Facebook account.

Ms Trump was en route to Hawaii for a vacation with her family, according to an ABC News report on the incident.

The Trump transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Trump and his family are spending the Christmas holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

- Reuters

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