NEW YORK — A surprise 40th birthday party in Las Vegas got off to a rough start over a birthday cake for a New Jersey family.

Cameron Burke of Jersey City told the New York Daily News he brought a buttercake from Tonnie's Minis bakery on board the May 3 JetBlue flight from JFK to Las Vegas and put it in the overhead bin. When a flight attendant asked him  move it from an overhead bin to the floor, he told the newspaper he did so.

A second flight attendant berated the initial attendant and then accused Burke of being "non compliant,"according to the report and asked Burke and his wife and two children to leave the plane. Burke told the newspaper he refused and all passengers were asked to exit. The Burke Family was not allowed back on the plane per the pilot's orders.

The family took a later flight on United to Las Vegas, according to Burke, who said he may sue JetBlue.

JetBlue, meanwhile, in a statement to New Jersey 101.5 told a different story and said video of the incident "does not depict the entire incident and only starts after the objectionable behavior occurred and law enforcement was called."

Burke "became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crewmember’s fitness to fly and refused to move the cake and other items from an area reserved for safety and emergency equipment," according to the statement. "Federal regulations require that the emergency equipment remain unobstructed during the flight," the statement read.

"The Captain determined the customers’ behavior demonstrated a risk for additional escalation in air and would not be allowed to fly. A full refund was given. The remaining customers re-boarded and the flight departed without further interruption," the airline said.

JetBlue said that cakes are OK to bring on board as a "personal item" as long as they are within size limits.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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