Dahlings, if you believe the gossip (like I sometimes do) then it looks like Bill Blassio, Mayor of New York, invoked Royal privilege where after running late for a flight to Puerto Rico, he phoned ahead and had Jet Blue delay the flight for him.
Notoriously late Mayor Bill de Blasio kept more than 100 people waiting at the gate to board a JetBlue flight from JFK Airport to Puerto Rico last month because he was running late and had the plane held for him, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The passengers — including state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and numerous other lawmakers as well as vacationers — were forced to cool their heels for roughly 20 minutes on Nov. 6 as they waited to board JetBlue Flight #703 for San Juan, where the Somos El Futuro Fall 2014 Conference was being held.
“We started to make our way over to the gate, about a half-hour before the flight was due to board,” a passenger recalled.
“There was a long line, but there was no boarding call and no one knew why. We were saying, ‘Why are we just standing here? The plane is here. We are here. So what’s the holdup?’”
Planes generally begin boarding 30 minutes before scheduled departure. After waiting roughly 20 minutes — nearly 10 minutes before they were due to leave — activity near the security entrance caught their attention.
It was de Blasio and a small entourage of aides, mostly NYPD bodyguards, walking briskly toward them.
“We finally understood why. It was the mayor that was holding us up, of course, and a few people could be heard joking, ‘Late again,’” the passenger said.
“He was walking quite fast, with four or five people, probably security people, and he went straight past everyone onto the plane.”
It is unclear why the mayor was late for the plane, but his NYPD security personnel had to radio the airline security to hold it for him, sources said.
The witness said the mayor and his security personnel were seated first, and then the rest of the passengers were allowed to board the plane.
NYPost add some more details
A JetBlue spokesman denied that the airline held the flight and its more than 100 passengers at the behest of City Hall. “It’s not our policy to hold a flight specifically for a dignitary or VIP,” said the spokesman, Morgan Johnston.
But he conceded planes are sometimes held at the pilot’s discretion.
“Our crew members are trusted to recognize extenuating circumstances, though, and are empowered to bring those to the team for review of potential operation impact,” Johnston added.
“It’s not unheard of for us to take a delay for connecting customers, groups, or simply a customer running late for the last flight of the day.”
Johnston refused to confirm that the mayor’s security detail or his office asked for the delay.
Me thinks that NYPost does not think too highly of King Bill. In the article the mention a previous incident where mayor was late for a Flight 587 memorial (which went down in 20010 and apparently had asked for the service time to be delayed. The NYPOST have even given Bill a nickname : Hizzoner, a corruption of “his Honor”.
You can always rely on a tabloid paper to come up with a solution to a problem so what the Post do?
“The Post gave the mayor a West Elm alarm clock without a snooze button to thoughtfully match the $65,000 in furniture the Brooklyn company provided at no charge to decorate Gracie Mansion”.
Ciao for now, Cleo.
PS: I wonder if Jet Blue will extend such extended check in to Emperors of Roam?