If you travel often, then no doubt you’ve seen this happen on an airplane before. Perhaps you observed this behavior or perhaps it was you doing what you’ll see in the video below. Unfortunately, in my three million plus miles flown, I’ve witnessed passengers do this countless times. RELATED: How Long Should a Layover Be When Booking a Connecting Flight?

A viral 20-second video was posted on TikTok by Karen Green-Walker with the caption, “People were standing and pulling down their luggage. We were landing and still in the air to FLL. 3rd announcement. At one point they were gonna call the police. #jetblue”

@karenpgreenwalker I give these flight attendants credit bc I had it with these passengers on the flight from #lga to #fll. #airplanedelays #airplaneissues #jetblue #travel ♬ original sound – Karen Green-Walker

According to Aerotime, “The chaotic scenes occurred on a flight from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) on September 10, 2023. Twenty-two passengers on board had to take a connecting flight from FLL airport to Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO) in Ecuador. Due to tight connecting times, the cabin crew decided to prioritize the 22 transiting passengers when deplaning and suggested that they should be first to exit when the aircraft landed.”

Green-Walker posted a part two to her video, in which she says: “I give the two #jetblue #flightattendants much praise bc I had it. The people just were not listening. The young lady sitting next to me was on the Quito flight and the rude passengers wouldnt even let her through to get bag. The other flt attendants not working and I just shook our heads.”

@karenpgreenwalker I give the two #jetblue #flightattendants much praise bc I had it. The people just were not listening. The young lady sitting next to me was on the Quito flight and the rude passengers wouldnt even let her through to get bag. The other flt attendants not working and I just shook our heads. #traveltiktok #airplane #jetblueflight #nopatiences #unrulypassengers #disrespectful #smh #explorerpage #travelreels #neveragain ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

This is common and in the past, most passengers understand and comply. However, it seems like ever since the pandemic, many people have lost their sense of kindness, common sense and patience. I find it shocking these days how so many people think the world just revolves around them. Why else would someone make a FaceTime call, watch videos or listen to music in public without using headphones or earbuds?

I now see this happening all the time, everywhere from grocery stores to beaches and especially on every flight I take. And it’s not just Americans or a particular age group. It really is people of all ages and nationalities. 

As you probably guessed, the 22 passengers did indeed miss that connecting flight to South America, which means they had to spend at least one extra day in South Florida. This would of course throw a wrench in their plans and put a dent in their wallets.

I’m not sure why JetBlue didn’t wait for them since there were so many passengers. Twenty-two peole is a lot of people to leave behind – especially since they were coming in from one of their other flights. It wasn’t like they were on a different carrier.

The moral of this story, however, is if you’re late for a flight and the flight attendants make an announcement to have everyone stay seated for an extra 30 seconds so you can run off the plane, don’t count on it happening.

Here’s how to avoid major headaches in this scenario:

1. Fly nonstop
I know nonstop flights usually costs more money and the flight might not be on your airline of choice but it can save you a lot of stress, time and aggravation. This past summer, my family and I needed to be in Barcelona, Spain for a cruise. My preferred carrier is American Airlines or one of their Oneworld partners like British Airways or Iberia but all those flights involved a connection. I decided to forgo the perks that come with my status with American and chose to fly nonstop on Air Canada. It turned out to be a great decision (here’s my trip report). In the JetBlue situation, from New York, passengers could have chosen Avianca Airlines’ nonstop flight from New York’s JFK to Quito.

2. Leave plenty of time
The most important thing to do, besides flying nonstop, is to leave plenty of time for a connection. Don’t try and find the shortest trip because it could end up making it the longest, like what happened to these JetBlue passengers. I wrote a post a month ago about our return flight to Europe. We were flying from Naples, Italy to Toronto, Canada and there were no nonstop flights available. Instead of sleeping in and taking an afternoon flight with a tight, one-hour connection in Munich, I chose a 6am flight with a seven-hour layover. We made an adventure out of it by doing a bit of quick sightseeing in Munich. Here’s that story

3. Don’t check bags
Anytime you fly, it’s wise not to check a bag and this holds even more true if you are making a connection as it doubles your chances of your luggage getting lost or misconnecting.

4. Tell the flight attendants
If you do have a tight connection, you can ask the flight attendant to make an announcement for others to let you off the plane first. But as with what happened on the JetBlue flight, you can’t count on it. So ask the flight attendant if you can sit in a seat closer to the front.

5. Sit towards the front of the plane
Even better than asking the flight attendant to reseat you is spending the extra money and assigning yourself a seat at the front of the plane so you don’t have to rely on the kindness of others.

It’s usually no fun to make a connection, which is why the airlines tend to charge more for nonstop flights. If you do have to make a stop, hopefully the above advice is helpful. Let me know in the comments what your experience has been with tight connections and share your tips.

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23 Comments On "22 JetBlue Passengers Miss Tight Connection Because Seatmates Refuse to Listen to Flight Crew Instructions"
  1. Sergio Kapusta|

    Blaming passengers for Jet Blue’s incompetente and flight attendants’ istake? Missing the connection in FLL was mostly the fault of Jet Blue: oe flight delayed and they couldn’t delay th second flight even for a few minutes to allow those passengers to make the connection? The flight attendants making that request (while still in the air. Why?? They single-handedly created chaos and a mad rush for the door. How much time were they trying to save? Or was that a blatant attempt to make passengers responsible for the airlines’ operational incompetence? If they hadn’t said anything, all passengers would have deplaned in a few minutes. Flight attendants should know that their words will not save time nor compensate for a delayed flight, sometimes compounded by not getting the unloading process (connecting bridge, opening the door) done in a timely manner.

  2. Bill|

    Imagine my surprise! The old philosophy from Nana, ” after me, you come first!”


    I haven’t flown in 40 years. The experience is dehumanizing. I consider it as a “flying cattle car”! They fact that people continue to do this is grounds for a psychological study!

  4. Jackson|

    I just did a round trip this month 09/2023 from JFK to Jamaica and back. I flew JetBlue both ways nonstop. On my return flight back to JFK the flight attendant made an announcement about 30-45 before landing and repeated several times after about a handful of people needing to make a tight connection and if we all could let them come to the front first. All of us on this flight complied and the flight attendant praised everyone gor being very thoughtful and mentioned that those individuals should be able to make their connecting flight now. PS i don’t remember what area they were flying to with the connection.

  5. Mathmom|

    You suggested not checking bags. That has turned into a major problem. People are really pushing the limits on the carry-on issue. What really erks me is to see some bozo put his bags in the overhead as he enters then head to the back of the plane for his cheap seat.

  6. Rjb|

    This is Jet Bkues fault. they don’t operate flights on time. I’m sure many other pax had connections too.

  7. Janet Kruth|

    I wonder if this sad behavior is the result of the pandemic or the cultural changes that I believe started with reality TV show that glorify aggressive behavior and the role model of our last president. Sorry to be “political” but comment about pandemic triggered me.

  8. Carol|

    We just experienced the awful, rudeness of passengers last month while landing in Chicago. There were 3 passengers by us in the rear of the jet who only had 8 minutes to connect to their flight. The staff asked all to stay seated so they could run off the jet. Tons of people got up & we’re getting their overhead luggage, etc; they were stuck in the rear! Many of us by them started a chant of “let them off!” We were a group of 16. Not sure if they made it due to zero caring by so many there.

  9. Eileen|

    People are out of control and so self absorbed. Manners, courtesy and basic kindness are no longer shown to other human beings anymore.

  10. Lee Sanyos|

    Well, a couple of things:
    You assume those folks did not have a connection somewhere else
    JB could wait, unless there is another flight after
    If airlines would charge the right price, less folks would be flying and kiss chance if ignorant behavior
    Might have been an unreasonable connection time to begin with so the travelers should have never accepted

  11. Tara|

    With 22 people all on the same connecting flight, they could have held the plane. I’ve been on flights before that were held for only one passenger.

  12. Edie|

    Just last week I was on a unitedfrom Medford Oregon with a 4 hour layover in San Francisco when they had a screw missing in a panel. I ask the attendant before getting on the plane if I should get a different flight. She advised me if we left soon I wouldn’t have a problem getting on my next flight. Boy that didn’t work out. I got on the plane and we sat there for about an hour waiting for someone in Chicago to say it was ok to fly with out that 1 screw. The pilot finally said they could keep us on the plane any longer so if we wanted to get off we could. He did you know how long it was going to take. So I got off second and went to the attendant and changed my flight from San Francisco to a later flight to Houston. I was supposed to stay all night in Houston before my next flight. So I was able to get a red eye flight and made my last flight to go Costa Rica on time. My luggage also made it with me. It could have been a nightmare, but ended up being perfect.
    Another flight last month I was in Orlando on jet blue ready to leave for a direct flight to Costa Rica and they kept us on the plane while they waited for another plane that had 17 passengers that were supposed to be on our plane. We were 2 hours late because of it. So they do hold up flights for passengers.

  13. Silva Kandiah|

    The culprit in this case is Jetblue. Shame on them.

  14. Melanie Chiltin|

    IAll the passengers should sue the airline for time and money people had to spend due to a lack of customer service on the part of Jet Blue..

  15. Jr|

    This was happening to my husband and I on our honeymoon was had a tight connection that involved a puddle jumper, this flight only operated every 2 days. They made multiple announcements to stay seated and get us off, most people listened some didn’t. My husband looked me in the eye grabbed my bag we charged our way though, sorry not sorry

  16. Jeff Dranetz|

    I would disagree with some of the strategies presented. We do give plenty of time between flights. But, we check all our luggage. Except medication, drink bought in secure area, magazines, and cell phones to view streaming movies or play downloaded content. We sit in the very rear. Many times there are spaces in the very rear seats. Also, close to the restroom. It’s people NOT checking in luggage that hold up deplaning. Because they take too friggin long to pull down and haul their luggage. They hog all the over head space. I just want a place to put my coat, and bag of magazines! The luggage carousel is usually near the exits. So we don’t have struggle hauling them all over the airport. CHECK MOST OF YOUR BAGS. It’s courteous to others on the plane. If those people checked their bags they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to open the overhead and haul stuff out.

  17. Debra|

    My favorite SW flt. Attendant advised we were taxing to gate, remain seated, bins shift yad,yada. Pax stood, took bag & set it IN the aisle&sat down. Flt attendant ran to bag, opened overhead,thru bag in, returned to mic & announced”I SAID REMAIN IN YOUR SEAT, etc,etc”!! Everyone clapped !!!

  18. Yehoshua Friedman|

    I feel quite vindicated even though that wasn’t my reason, but I haven’t flown since 2007. I prefer staying put. I like it here where I live.

  19. H. Doreika|

    Pre pandemic flight and weather delayed the first leg of our flight home so we had a 12 minute connection. Flight attendants didnt do a thing when we asked for help so I literally begged folks around us to let us go through. We had sat apart and as close to the front a possible. One woman turned to me and said, we have connections too, meaning our need wasn’t any more urgent than hers. So I said, then you should be doing what I’m doing, asking for help. She wasn’t impressed with my suggestion shall we say. End up running to three terminals from the landing gate to make the flight. I’m in my 50’s. It wasn’t pretty. Lol

  20. EWH|

    I wish the writer hadn’t said to tell the flight attendants if you have a tight connection so they make an announcement. At my airline we are not to make that announcement.

    Here’s why: all the majors use a hub and spoke system and the only time you have a connection is in the hub.

    How many passengers are connecting at a hub? 70%? 80%? 90%? So for all those passengers, their connections are “tight connections”.

    So someone in the back asks the FAs to make announcement. He thinks he will be able to deplane quicker because the FA don’t tell him most of the passengers are connecting. He gets up and so does every other passenger and he’s blocked in the back. WTH???

    I do handle what I consider truly tight connections by referring to my airline tablet which provides connections for my particular flight. If possible, I move those passengers up closer to the front. Or I have them seated on the aisle.

    Then I total the number and, if 20 or less, I make a PA stating we have 20 making tight connections. Would you please remain seated until those 20 come forward.

    Approaching the gate and about to park, I ask those I spoke with and prepared to come forward.

    That way everyone knows it’s only 20 people to wait for vs a general announcement. Who knows how many are connecting? When can they get up? Is that the last one I should wait for?

    I also ask others to step into an empty row ahead of them to get their items organized so people behind can continue moving forward to exit.

    When I have those 20, I thank everyone and say they can deplane too.

    It works! And is less stressful for everyone!

  21. JKF|

    Not enough detail to really understand why the connection was so tight. I fly weekly and I’m not waiting – everyone has someplace to be. JetBlue could be to blame – passengers booking tight connections could be to blame. I do know it’s not my fault and I’m going to get to my meeting on time.

  22. RLS|

    I think the only way to handle this is for a flight attendant to either escort the group off first, or hand out little flags with the announcement that only the people with flags in hand should be out of their seats upon landing.

    Selfish people are always going to be selfish, unfortunately. But who’s to say that others on that flight didn’t also have tight connections, or have a meeting to get to, or a bathroom emergency, or a myriad of other issues?

    There is really no winning here.

  23. Mike|

    This happens all the time. It isn’t just a Jet Blue problem. Sometimes a flight is running late, and folks have a tight connect. When they ask you to wait a few seconds to help your fellow passengers, just wait.

    People are garbage.

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