In a video circulating on social media, Spirit Airlines staff are seen kicking a young family off a flight because their child was not wearing a mask while eating.
The clip first started appearing on Twitter and Instagram on Monday, showing how the young Jewish family responded after they were informed they were “non-compliant” with the airline’s COVID-19 safety regulations. When approached by a flight attendant who said they need to leave the flight, the couple asked what they did wrong and they were told their child wasn’t wearing a mask. It’s worth pointing out that on Spirit’s official website, it is stated that children under the age of 2 are exempt from mask requirements.
Other passengers in the flight chimed in to protest the decision, with one person suggesting the crew were “wasting time” on this. The dad continued to ask what he and his pregnant wife had done wrong, to which the attendant responded, “We’re done talking, pilot wants you off.” They were informed that if they didn’t leave, the police would be called. In a further video the dad, who kept removing his mask briefly to talk, seemed to blame the situation on “one African-American” who wasn’t okay with the situation. Ultimately, the flight was deplaned.
In a later video uploaded by the couple themselves, the young family appear to have been let back on the plane. The dad suggested that the attendant who kicked them off was no longer present on the flight, either, but it’s unclear if that’s the case.
While it is ridiculous that the family were kicked off for the child not wearing a mask, it’s important to note that videos like this will further spread anti-mask sentiment among less-informed individuals. The World Health Organization has stated that masks are scientifically proven to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and as of April 4 there’s still a 7-day average of 64,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. per day.
Spirit Airlines has yet to respond to the situation.