Dad kicked off Jetstar plane for taking photo on tarmac


An Aussie man has claimed he was kicked off a Jetstar flight for taking a photo on the tarmac before a flight from Sydney to Brisbane ahead of a cruise on Thursday.

Jimmy Mitchell was with his wife Pauline and their two children when he whipped out his phone to take a quick snap of his family on the stairs of a plane as they boarded the flight on Wednesday.

What he didn’t realise that that there had been an announcement explaining that passengers were not allowed to use phones on the tarmac because the plane was refuelling.

Dad claims he was kicked off Jetstar flight for taking a photo

Mr Mitchell, a seasoned traveller, said he had noise cancelling headphones in at the time and wasn’t made aware of the announcement until later, adding there was no signage or further instructions about the use of phones.

He was eventually able to board the flight but described the debacle as “one of the most traumatic experiences” he’s had.

In a viral TikTok, he alleged that while he was taking the photo, a cabin crew member called him an “idiot”. He said that when she tried to get his attention to put the device away it left him embarrassed and shocked.

“This is the worst experience I’ve ever had flying,” he said in the clip.

“I try and get on the plane, I take a photo of my kids as they get on the plane, in flight mode, and the lady calls me an idiot,” he said.

After he confronted the staff member, Mr Mitchell claims he was told he won’t be allowed to board the flight.

“I turned around in disbelief because I was half way up the stairs at this point. I basically stormed over to her and I was like, ‘Are you serious? What did you just call me?’

“She was basically saying ‘you can’t take photos on the tarmac, you can’t take photos on the tarmac’.”

The pair allegedly went back and forth before the father-of-two, known for his travel content, was rejected from boarding the plane.

“If she had literally just said anything else, like ‘get off your phone’, I would have done it.”

“Apparently, they made an announcement, but I had noise cancelling headphones, Pauline (wife) told me after the fact – I didn’t hear it, there was no notifications about it, there was no signage, no nothing.

“All she had to do was say something constructive. ‘Get off your phone,’ ‘you can’t have your phone out’ and I would have been like ‘sorry’, but she screams across the tarmac calling me an idiot.”

The flight attendant allegedly told Mr Mitchell, who’s family had already boarded, he wouldn’t be getting on the flight and “threatened” that police would be waiting for him.

“I can see how she maybe felt I was being intimidating because I am a big guy and I am a loud guy. She turns around to me and goes ‘you almost assaulted me, get off the tarmac, you’re not getting on this plane’.”

Shocked by the situation, Mr Mitchell made his way back inside the terminal where he awaited further instructions.

He was eventually allowed to board the flight “after cooler heads prevailed” but wants the airline to apologise to him and his family over the “stressful” situation.

“The way they treated Pauline and the kids and not allowing me to communicate with them what was going on, was completely unacceptable,” he said.

A Jetstar spokesperson told the incident is being investigated.

“All our customers and team members have the right to feel respected when flying with us or when at work and we’re looking into what took place in this instance,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Mitchell said his wife had his passport and boarding pass and claims staff didn’t allow him to retrieve the items when he was held inside the terminal.

After he was eventually let back onto the flight, he said he was almost reduced to tears “because it was that embarrassing”.

“It’s one thing that she was completely out of line for calling me an idiot, I can get over that I am a big boy – and you’re probably sitting there going ‘he’s a sook’ and ‘he shouldn’t have reacted that way’ – but next time someone you’re supposed to be a customer of calls you an idiot … you tell me next time how you would react in that situation.”

He said he is more disappointed in the way the airline allegedly handled the situation.

The debacle has sparked a huge debate on his TikTok and Instagram over who is in the wrong.

“Wow … that’s insane! So sorry that happened to you!” one person wrote.

“Take it further and don’t let them get away with what they have done,” a second person said.

“I’ve been told off for having my phone out on the tarmac but definitely not kicked off the flight … I often wonder how influencers and celebrities do it and there’s never a problem,” another wrote, while a fourth added: “It’s a restricted area … no phones on the tarmac”.

Others said the staffer allegedly calling Mr Mitchell an “idiot” was “unacceptable”.

Jetstar told phones are not allowed to be used while on the tarmac “as this is an operational space and we remind customers of this via gate PAs”.

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