Here’s the video that got grandma detained on JetBlue flight

Remember Marilyn Parver, the grandmother who was detained after she refused to delete a video she had lawfully taped on a JetBlue flight? Well, after weeks of back-and-forth with the airline, she’s released the incriminating tape.

Here it is:

On second thought, it’s not that incriminating. It’s a passenger arguing with another one about a child that is apparently misbehaving.

Passenger 1: Get the hell out of here.

Passenger 2: Excuse me!

Passenger 1: Stop!

Passenger 2: Can’t you control him?

Passenger 1: I don’t wanna control him.

I’ve seen this before. It’s nothing.

But what JetBlue sent to Parver … that’s something.

In a rambling letter to her, the airline disclosed that it does indeed have a rule against people taking photographs on planes.

JetBlue’s policy above 10,000 feet is to request passengers to discontinue videotaping or photographing, particularly the cockpit area or inflight procedures.

In light of this, our crew decided to identify the passenger who had been taking photographs and request that he/she delete the photographs.

(Curiously, JetBlue doesn’t feel bound by its own policy. It videotapes the interior of its cabins — below and above 10,000 feet.)

The letter also accused Parver of being “argumentative, condescending and belligerent” and refusing to obey the instructions of crewmembers.

Parver sent me the letter on Monday evening and denied she had acted inappropriately. She also questioned JetBlue’s “policy” on photographs, noting that passengers were not informed of this rule when they boarded.

I suggested that Parver publish the videotape online. By Tuesday morning, she had.

I was at an all-day meeting yesterday, but I noticed that my friends over at Photography is Not a Crime had an insightful post on this, which included some valid points about JetBlue’s flight attendants disregarding their own policy.

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I think JetBlue could have handled this differently. Rather than sending a lengthy, defensive letter to the customer, the airline could have tried to patch things up. It’s obvious that she wasn’t taping the flight deck for nefarious purposes. Arguments between passengers such as the one she taped are pretty common these days.

The crew overreacted and the company overreacted. Its letter to Parver has just reopened old wounds.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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