Passenger Refusing Face Mask Kicked off of Plane

American Airlines refused to fly with a passenger who refused to wear face mask. Brandon Straka sought to fly from New York to Dallas on Wednesday but refused to wear a mask. Thus, American Airlines deplaned him and flew without him.

This is the first known incident involving passenger being kicked off for not wearing a face mask associated with coronavirus pandemic.

While wearing a face mask is not the law, airlines have instituted their own mask requirements for crew, engineers, and passengers to maximize safety while still operating at limited capacity.

As more employees test positive for coronavirus and reopening has led to alarming incline of coronavirus infections in various parts of the country, several major airlines have pledged to take a harder stance on enforcing face mask policies. This is also partially for customer safety, airlines have stated.

American Airlines says the incident happened at Flight 1263 from New York’s LaGuardia to Dallas’s Fort Worth. The customer, Mr. Straka, declined to wear a face covering.

American Airlines says, “After he refused to comply with the instructions provided by the flight crew, our team members asked him to deplane. He deplaned and the flight departed the gate four minutes late at 12:34 p.m., eastern time.”

Straka was rebooked on a later flight after he agreed to comply with company policies, AA said.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in congressional testimony Wednesday, “for their own protection and the protection of those around them, face coverings are especially important in situations where social distancing is not feasible.” Passengers are expected to wear masks when directed by flight attendants, as they are in a space where social distancing is not only impossible, but due to the circulation inside airplane cabins, the risk can be heightened.

It is important to note that while some states are seeing a decline in infections, other states are not, and the coronavirus is now showing up with vengeance in areas not formally a hotspot. Therefore, it is especially important to keep oneself as safe as possible during this uncertain times. This could be more dangerous than the first wave, as most people have become somewhat accustomed to the existence of coronavirus and take a lackadaisical attitude toward safety. Be more vigilant, and stay safe, even if that means having to wear a face mask on a plane.


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