Family of 20 kicked off American Airlines flight after only ‘one accidentally removed mask’
Family claims American crew were overzealous.
The group of 10 adults and 10 children was booked on flight AA1214 from Salt Lake City to Dallas on Sunday.
During boarding, the family claims that only one of the members accidentally slipped their face mask beneath their nose before they pulled it back up.
Scott Wilson, a family member, said a male flight attendant immediately approached his relative and ordered the whole family off the plane.
“He said, ‘Well, they want you to leave the plane,'” Mr Wilson told KSL-TV.
“I said, ‘What, they want us to get off the plane? Can we talk, can we have a conversation? Nobody has even really talked to us.'”
According to Mr Wilson, other passengers stood up and voiced their displeasure at the crew’s handling of the situation.
However, the decision was not reversed and the 20 family members were booted off the flight.
Mr Wilson explains that back in the terminal, gate agents were very sympathetic to the family and agreed they should not have been removed.
“They were livid,” Wilson said of the helpful gate agents who rebooked their flights.
“They were mad at this guy and said, ‘He is the one with the problem, you guys did nothing wrong. We’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve never had a situation like this, and he was totally in the wrong by doing what he did'”.
In a statement, American Airlines said: “On Sunday, January 24, passengers traveling on American Airlines flight 1214 from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) were reported to be noncompliant with our mandatory face covering policy, which requires face coverings be worn properly over the nose and mouth.
“Per procedure, the customers involved were asked to exit the aircraft before departure and the flight departed for DFW shortly after.
“American, like other US airlines, began requiring customers to wear a face covering while on board aircraft beginning May 11.
“We have since strengthened our policy to require face coverings be worn at airports and on board, and announced in June that we may deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering for the duration of this requirement.”