JetBlue apologized after one of its employees at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport dressed up as a homeless person from the Caribbean for Halloween.
The employee, a woman, donned tattered clothing and a sign that read "Homeless, need help trying to get back home to Puerto Rico or Cuba."
One Twitter user took to the platform to express doubt about the appropriateness of the costume. "This was the costume of a Jetblue employee at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. I want to read your opinions," the user wrote, posting a photo of the woman.
Many were quick to comment that the costume was highly offensive, especially in light of Hurricane Maria, which was the deadliest national disaster the United States had seen in a decade and resulted in the displacement of thousands of families in Puerto Rico.
"Not sure if they know but thousands of people lost everything due to Hurricane Maria and for this JetBlue employee to think it’s OK to joke about the epidemic of homelessness in Puerto Rico and the U.S. is sickening and completely unacceptable," another Twitter user wrote. "That’s NO JOKE."
U.S. & World
JetBlue didn't respond to the Tweet, but Derek Dombrowski, manager of corporate communications at JetBlue, apologized on behalf of the company in an email to NBC News.
"In the spirit of Halloween, our crew members are welcome to celebrate in costume, but one crew member chose a costume that was clearly insensitive and not in line with our costume policy," Dombrowski said in a statement. "The situation was immediately addressed, and we apologize to anyone who was offended."
Dombrowski added that "any costume that could be offensive to staff and customers is not allowed." As for how the incident was "immediately addressed," the airline declined to comment further.