A woman has been accused of making a bomb threat against a JetBlue plane because she feared her son would be late for school. The plane had to be halted on the runway and all of the passengers were forced to deplane so that the bomb squad could carry out a pointless top to toe search of the plane.
The incident took place on Monday when Marina Verbitsky, 46, along with her husband and son turned up late at the gate at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport for their jetBlue flight back to their home in Chicago.
The Verbitsky’s were so late the jetBlue operated Airbus A320 aircraft had already left the gate and was taxiing for takeoff for the two and a half hour flight to Chicago. The flight was scheduled to take off at 8:50 pm but Marina and her family didn’t get to the gate until 8:45 pm.
Prosecutors claim Mrs Verbitsky lost it when jetBlue gate agents told her she had missed the flight. Verbitsky started shouting and berating airline employees and demanded they be let on the plane.
A relative told the Chicago Sun-Times that Marina became upset because she was “nervous” about her son returning to school the next day and she was scared he would miss his first day back.
When she was told her luggage was still on the plane, prosecutors claim she falsely claimed there was a bomb in her suitcase.
“She became very angry because they were not allowed to board the plane,” wrote a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy in Verbitsky’s arrest report. “She was using profanities toward the employees, and when she was notified the plane was taxiing to the runway with her checked luggage, she stated there was a bomb in her luggage,” the report continued.
The bomb threat resulted in Verbitsky being arrested while the plane was called back to the gate so that all the passengers could be deplaned and the entire plane searched.
The flight eventually got underway at 2:42 am, reaching Chicago over five hours late.
Verbitsky has been charged with falsely reporting a bomb and. a judge set her bail at $10,000 and ordered her to undergo a mental health evaluation. She managed to post bail on Tuesday.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.