JetBlue is no fan of photography. They made that clear in 2008 when they had a woman handcuffed and escorted off the plane for refusing to delete a video she shot of an altercation between two passengers.
They made that clear again this month when they permanently banned an activist who videotaped himself stripping down to his Speedos before entering the TSA checkpoint.
And on Sunday, three JetBlue security guards confronted a New York Daily News photographer who was covering the flight delays at JFK Airport and escorted him out of the airport.
The photographer, Steven Sunshine, was photographing the giant board showing flight delays and cancellations due to the winter storm.
According to the Daily News:
They warned he could be in trouble for taking photos on “private property” at JFK’s Terminal 5, even though he showed them identification and told them he was working on a news story.
“All of a sudden, there were three guys surrounding me,” said Sunshine, 48. “They kept saying, ‘You know you’re on private property.'”
JetBlue spokeswoman Jen Cardillo said Sunshine should have asked for clearance at least three days in advance – even though the extent of the storm was not known until Saturday evening.
She insisted security officials only intervened to avoid “potential disruptions” to travelers.
Potential disrputions? Traveling was already disrupted because of the storm. Any further disruptions came from the security guards.
After he was escorted out of the terminal, Sunshine contacted Port Authority to file a complaint, but they refused to take a report and threatened to confiscate his NYPD-issued press pass if he pushed the matter.
Now the paper is threatening to take legal action against JetBlue and the Port Authority.
Mickey Osterriecher, attorney for the National Press Photographers Association, sent a letter of complaint to JetBlue.
“For you to have singled out Mr. Sunshine, who identified himself as a credentialed press photographer is an insult to our profession and members, who are also part of the flying public. While I appreciate your concerns for the safety of your patrons and employees I would hope that you can understand that photography/videography by itself is not a dangerous or pernicious activity.”
If you would like to file your own complaint, click here.