Flight attendant ‘no longer with JetBlue’ after ‘false hostage claim’

JetBlue Airways says Kalina Collier, the flight attendant accused of falsely claiming to have been kidnapped in Jamaica, is no longer with the company following an internal investigation into her actions.

Derek Dombrowski, Manager, Corporate Communications, JetBlue Airways, made the disclosure to Loop News a short while ago in a statement.

“After an investigation, the crewmember in question is no longer with JetBlue. We continue to offer our apologies for the frustration and concern this incident has caused and reiterate our confidence in the health protocols Jamaica has put in place,” Dombrowski said.

Collier, a US national, caused a social media frenzy last week after claiming that she was being held hostage by “wicked people” at a hotel on Jamaica’s north coast. The allegations led to the hash tags #WhereIsKalina and #SaveKalinaCollier trending on Twitter.

However the police later rubbished the allegations as baseless and mischievous, stating that Collier tested positive for the coronavirus upon arrival in Jamaica and, in keeping with Jamaica’s COVID-19 prevention protocols, was placed in isolation as stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. She departed the island earlier this week.

Jet Blue announced earlier Tuesday that Collier had been suspended by the airline amid an investigation into her actions.

In the meantime, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes has issued a personal apology to the Jamaican Government and the people of Jamaica.

Hayes on Tuesday conveyed his sentiments during a phone call with Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, who has welcomed the apology.

“I was very heartened by the discussion I had with Mr. Hayes earlier today. His apology to our Prime Minister; the Government; members of the tourism team and the people of Jamaica, for the concern and frustration the incident has caused, was well received. We know that the actions of the employee are in no way a reflection of the standards of Jetblue,” said Bartlett.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the airline moving forward, as JetBlue remains a valued tourism partner,” he added.

“Jamaica remains a premier destination and we will continue to provide the world class service and tourism product, which have allowed Jamaica to become the destination of choice for millions of visitors from across the globe. We will also continue to work along with JetBlue and all our other committed tourism partners in building brand Jamaica,” Bartlett expressed.

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