She just wanted to go home, bogged down with luggage and a cranky two-year-old — days after her first flight was cancelled.
But a Utah single mom says she and her two-year-old were thrown off an American Airlines flight last Wednesday in a dispute over the toddler’s mask with a flight attendant.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, according to the woman, who asked not to be named, came when the little girl pulled down her mask to drink from a baby bottle.
The airline said flight staff kicked off the mother-daughter duo for violating a federal mandate for a coronavirus mask for air travelers.
“Two customers were removed from American Airlines Flight 3573 for departure from Key West (EYW) for failing to meet the federal face mask requirement,” an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “After agreeing to comply with the face mask requirement, customers were rebooked for travel on the next available flight to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and completed the journey later that day.”
But the woman said she was trying to stick to the rules and keep her toddler’s mask on.
American Airlines’ COVID-19 policy requires that children 2 years of age or older wear masks during flights. But the woman says she has not been asked to have her daughter masked on multiple flights between Salt Lake City, Dallas, Mexico and Key West.
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“There was no problem with her at the airport,” the mother, a Salt Lake City resident, told Fox News Digital. “All the times we walked around with her, nobody said anything. I was never told anything.’
But when she tried to board American Airlines Flight 3573 last week, hands full with a diaper bag, her wallet, her daughter’s car seat, and her daughter’s blanket and plush toy, she said a flight attendant stopped her from taking her seat. reach.
The flight attendant gave her an adult mask for the 2-year-old and told her to put it on the child.
“So I put her car seat on this seat that was open in the first class because nobody was there,” said the mother. “I tried to rush and put the hair on, and she said, ‘No, you have to get all the way off the plane and put it on.'”
The mother packed her things and led her daughter to the step bridge, holding the rest of the passengers up. She put the mask on her daughter and they got back on the plane and found their seats.
But the girl was grumpy, played with the mask and asked for her bottle.
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“So I gave her her bottle, which I usually always prepare when we get on the plane, so she can drink it when we take off because her ears are popping,” she said. “So they came back and told her to wear a mask.”
She said her daughter was told to mask herself between sips.
“I took her bottle away, which didn’t come across well, and I tried to get her to wear the mask, and she was worried about it,” the mother said.
Moments later, before the flight took off, the mother told all passengers to get off the plane.
“They had the entire plane unload all their luggage, disembark, disembark me and my daughter and re-boarded the plane, causing several people to miss their connecting flight,” she said.
Flight data shows a delay of approximately 40 minutes before the plane took off.
The mother’s story is supported by at least one person claiming to be a passenger on the same flight — who wrote a 1,700-word Facebook post explaining the attendant’s decision to postpone the entire flight because of “a crying baby.” ‘ laughed.
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Basinski did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“Ever seen something that clearly isn’t right and you just can’t shut up about it?” Colleen Kavanaugh Basinski wrote. “Well, that’s what I just did and it almost got me kicked off my flight.”
She said she has had “rarely” problems with American Airlines in the past and that she flies with them “all the time”.
But she said the single mother’s treatment bothered her — and the ensuing delay caused her to miss her connecting flight.
When she got off the plane, she wrote, saying to the flight attendant, “Shame on you. Really crying baby?”
When all the passengers — minus the single mom and her toddler — had returned to their seats, Basinski wrote that the flight “came up” to her and repeatedly asked, “Do you have a problem?”
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“I tried to ignore her…and she repeated it over and over, and then I finally said ‘yes,'” she wrote. “She immediately called the first gate attendant and said I was threatening her and she should also have me kicked off the flight (she obviously enjoyed the mother and baby being kicked off, as if she had won some sort of grudge match. . ..it was disgusting).”
“My problem was her, her tyrannical, power-hungry attitude,” she added.
American Airlines and the mother both said a customer service representative reached out to her over the weekend. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they would agree on a cure.
“We are reviewing this incident and a member of our team has reached out to customers to learn more about their experiences,” the airline’s spokesperson said.