Former New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato was removed from a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York for a delay-related outburst on Monday.
A video of the incident shot by a passenger shows the 79-year-old, three term U.S Senator become agitated as he is escorted off flight 1002 by security.
“This is Broward County Sheriffs office escorting former Senator Alfonse D’Amato off the plane for complaining about the delay and asking for fellow passengers to please move to back of plane so we can fly,” Jacqueline Galante posted on Facebook Monday.
The video shows D’Amatobecoming incensed and encouraging passengers to walk off the plane.
“We can still speak in this country and what they’re doing to me … I make an appeal to all you people. You wanna know why? Stand up for what’s right and walk out with me!” D’Amato said in the video. Some passengers actually followed him and others can be heard saying “should we do it?”
A witness on the plane told NBC 4 that D’Amato became incensed after the captain said some people would have to change seats for better weight distribution. Only a few people moved, prolonging the takeoff delay.
“Jet Blue has apologized to the Senator for over reacting and the Senator apologized for speaking his mind at a time when he clearly had left his patience at the gate,” the spokesman told NBC 4.
D’Amato’s spokesperson said the senator’s outburst came after a long visit to an ailing friend, and a very long flight delay.
It was later reported that the flight finally left Fort Lauderdale airport more than six hours behind schedule.