Huge airline faces backlash for trying to kick pregnant mom, special needs child off plane for toddler eating without mask

ORLANDO, FL- Another day, another story of overzealous people trying to enforce ridiculous mask mandates. The latest incident comes to us from Orlando, Florida courtesy of Spirit Airlines, numerous media sources are reporting.

In this case, a crewmember tried to force a family off the plane prior to takeoff because their daughter, who just turned two refused to put on a mask. The crewmember told the family the “pilot wanted them off” the plane.

VIDEO: @SpiritAirlines staffer tells pregnant Mom that her young child needs to put on a mask despite eating or else police will be called.

NOTE that the video shows the early moments of this incident, so @SpiritAirlines can’t pull here a he/she said. pic.twitter.com/DpJkXfvWJH

— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) April 5, 2021

The family, a mother who was pregnant, her husband and her daughter, as well as a son who had special needs were flying from Orlando back to New York on the no-frills carrier.

The female crewmember, believed to be a flight attendant told the family it wasn’t her decision to have them removed from the flight, but said she would have to contact the police to have them removed.

ORLANDO: HORRIFIC – Family with special needs child is kicked off @SpiritAirlines flight to NJ – along with entire plane – after their 2-year-old didn’t wear a mask. Police were called. pic.twitter.com/qTwQrrh2au

— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) April 5, 2021

There were numerous videos of the incident posted on social media, with one showing the little girl sitting on her mother’s lap eating what appeared to be yogurt when approached by the flight attendant.

Apparently, it was a male flight attendant who wanted them removed from the aircraft, however he apparently was too gutless to make the demand himself, and instead deferred to the female flight attendant.

The parents asked why they were being asked to leave the flight, and the female flight attendant said, “I’m sorry. They want you off,” adding that they were “noncompliant with the masks.”

The parents, both of whom were wearing masks told the flight attendant they had in fact been wearing their masks and currently were doing so. The flight attendant pointed to the two-year-old and said, “She’s not wearing one.”

The incident caught the attention of other passengers sitting nearby, who pointed out to her that there were other young children not wearing masks.

In addition, they pointed out the fact that the plane was still at the gate and the little girl was eating yogurt while waiting to taxi for takeoff. CDC rules (as well as airlines) exempt passengers from wearing masks while eating or drinking.

“The flight attendant said “it’s not my choice” while the father argues that they have their “special needs son with them.”

The flight attendant walked away and said she would be contacting the police.

ORLANDO: UPDATE: @SpiritAirlines flight attendant who ordered the family off the flight was removed, family allowed back on. Passengers are reboarding with a new flight crew. pic.twitter.com/u5yEA9McZZ

— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) April 5, 2021

Shortly afterward, all passengers were instructed to deplane into the terminal. Shortly afterward, it wasn’t the family that was escorted away but rather the male flight attendant who had complained in the first place.

Unlike @FlyFrontier who kept dishing out insults and alleged lies against the victims of their abuse a few weeks back, @SpiritAirlines let everyone back onto the plane. (Possibly everyone except for the abusive – and potentially bigoted – crew member.) pic.twitter.com/7h4qA73ExD

— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) April 5, 2021

Videos show police officers escorting the male flight attendant down the terminal, however Spirit Airlines denies he was removed from the flight and taken away by law enforcement.

“Happy ending! “We’re back on,” said the father in another video.

Happy ending for the family kicked off Spirit Airlines! Everyone got back on they kicked the flight attendant off instead 😋 pic.twitter.com/Te2G6W04GZ

— suzy (@suzy__1776) April 5, 2021

Spirit Airlines seems to in particular have a problem when it comes to masks. In yet another viral video a few months ago, a family was booted from a Sprit plane because their four-year-old autistic son refused to wear a mask.

Spirit’s website explains their mask policy requires that travelers wear face coverings in compliance with CDC guidelines on flights and in airports.

“Face coverings may be removed only while eating, drinking or taking medication—when done eating, drinking or taking medication, face coverings must be repositioned immediately,” the policy reads.

The policy goes on to say that “guests who choose not to comply with our face covering requirement will lose future privileges with Spirit.”

“Children under the age of 2 years old are exempt. There may be other limited exceptions for a Guest with a disability recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) who meet certain criteria.”

According to Yahoo News, a spokesman for Spirit Airlines said it was standard protocol in the industry to have all passengers exit an aircraft if there is an incident with a passenger.

They also noted the family initially refused to leave, which is why all passengers were removed from the aircraft. Sprit further said if the family had agreed to get off the flight, the rest of the passengers would have been allowed to remain onboard.

Please visit https://t.co/VO3hNuYAnC for more information about our face covering policy. pic.twitter.com/CNN9J1tuCi

— Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines) April 5, 2021

All of this shows the absurdity of the mask mandates, especially where it concerns children, who are considered low-risk for either contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

The mandates also do not take into account the maturity level of children, who may not like the feeling of something covering their face. It’s truly a ridiculous policy.

Yet another airline ran into an issue with masks last month, when budget airline Frontier Airlines drew criticism after they canceled a flight because “multiple people” in a group of 21 Orthodox Jews refused to wear a mask.

One member of that group had pushed back, saying the airline crew initiated the incident when his 15-month-old child wasn’t wearing a mask while eating. Based on FAA and CDC guidelines, that child was not required to wear a mask.

We have reported several times on other airlines having issues with masks and passengers. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

LITTLE ROCK, AR– A young boy with Autism was kicked off of a Spirit Airlines flight after he was unable to wear a mask due to his disability, and had a doctor’s note to vouch for that.

On Monday, March 15th, four-year-old Carter Kimball was left devastated when both him and his father were removed from their return flight home because Carter was unable to wear a mask.

The note explaining Carter’s reason for not wearing a mask however was accepted on the flight to their destination, creating a double standard by the company.

KTHV-TV spoke with Carter’s mother, Callie Kimball, who told the outlet that her husband and son, were allegedly kicked off their return flight after visiting family in Las Vegas.

Autistic boy, 4, kicked off Spirit flight for not wearing a mask despite having a note from his doctor https://t.co/TDxvoLh0OU

— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 16, 2021

According to Callie, their family has flown multiple times with their son, who is severely autistic and is non-verbal, as Carter has a love for airplanes.

The Blaze reported that Carter’s physician supplied them with a letter to carry while traveling that explains Carter is exempt from mask mandates because of his disability. According to Callie, when Carter wears a mask “he starts freaking out,” “holds his breath,” and “will harm himself.”

Callie explained that the family has often flown on Spirit Airlines, and has never experienced any issues until this past Monday. According to reports, after the family boarded the aircraft, an employee on the airline allegedly said:

“autism’s not a disability”

The employee also allegedly notified the family that:

“he has to wear a mask or he has to get off the plane.”

As if a father and his autistic son being kicked off of the plane was not bad enough, the family utilizes a babysitter for Carter to assist them during travel, and the sitter was not allowed off of the aircraft with the boy.

Carters father was left with little options while being stranded in Dallas, and was forced to spend $1,000 out of pocket in order to board an American Airlines flight to get home.

The Kimball family attempted to regain the money they spent on their Spirit Airlines flight home, but have still not received an answer to their refund request from the company.

Little Carter Kimball had flown with his father to their destination on the same airline with no problemshttps://t.co/8hLzjSUdKI

— TheBlaze (@theblaze) March 16, 2021

Callie Kimball told KTHV:

“So we’re out all of our flights, a thousand bucks and we have a son who’s just distraught now that he like threw all of his airplanes down,”

Unfortunately the discrimination of disabled children is not an isolated incident for Spirit Airlines.

The Blaze reported that last September, a Chicago family said the airline sent them a letter banning three-year-old Cebastian Lewis after he kept removing his mask on a return flight home.

According to the Lewis family, during a layover, a Spirit Airlines employee made the entire plane de-board, and allegedly filed a police report against the family.

According to WFLD-TV, Spirit argued that the family was using profanity and being uncooperative.

The outlet reported that the airline justified their actions in the Lewis family incident, stating:

“Spirit released a statement, saying they require face covering during the entire flight. The only exceptions are children under 2. Travelers unable to wear them for any reason, including medical, won’t be able to fly Spirit.”

Spirit Airlines is not the only airline to kick families with children off of an airplane due to an inability to wear a mask. Earlier in March, Law Enforcement Today reported that Frontier Airlines crew members removed a Jewish family from a plane, and then celebrated because the 15-month-old would not wear a mask. Here is that full story.

MIAMI, FL – Adding to a growing list of airlines experiencing major embarrassment related to pandemic restrictions, Frontier Airlines jumped to the head of the line on Sunday evening.

That’s when a flight crew removed a family from a flight because the 15-month-old toddler was not wearing a mask.

The flight was ultimately cancelled when passengers came to the family’s defense.

.@FlyFrontier’s own website says that children under the age of 2 don’t need masks. But even if this was an incident of violating mask rules, the alleged bigoted behavior from the staff as claimsd in the video above is not acceptable! Att @PeteButtigieg @GovRonDeSantis pic.twitter.com/iB7hulgO5t

— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021

Flight attendants on Frontier flight 2878 from Miami to LaGuardia airport in New York threatened to remove a Hasidic Jewish family because their 15-month-old was not masked, despite airline policy that allows children under the age of 2 to fly without a mask.

Multiple videos taken of the incident show other passengers on the plane coming to the defense of the family as the attendants confronted and ultimately had the family removed from the plane.

Even more disturbing, several passengers said the crew were high-fiving each other and cheering, “We did it” following the incident.

MORE VIDEO! Another passenger who was not part of the travel group and not in the same ethnic group as the victimized travelers is alleging that “they are saying some nasty things… I heard some nasty things being said…. They (@FlyFrontier staff) are making it worse.” pic.twitter.com/lP8T6JR5tw

— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021

One video of the incident shows several members of the family being removed from the plane while a voice, possibly the captain, tells passengers to remain seated. The family members in the video were wearing masks. Passengers can be heard asking the crew why they were removing the family.

On the video, one passenger asked a crewmember, “What are you accomplishing?”

Another shouted, “You are going to pay the consequences. This is all going over the news. You are all going to suffer the consequences.”

A third shouts, “This isn’t Germany.”

Disturbing incident the last hour on a @FlyFrontier flight as staff told a Hasidic couple to get off because their 18 month old had no mask. Applause is heard as the couple started leaving. Travels say on camera that the applause came from staff who also cheered that “we did it.” pic.twitter.com/rA2JQmI1tU

— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021

In another video, the child can be seen being carried off the plane in a child seat. A man identified as an Orthodox Jewish person defended the family and shouted to the flight crew:

“Why aren’t you doing anything? Why aren’t you doing anything? This is anti- Hasidic Jews, that’s all this is about. This is an anti-Semitic act.”

The flight crew could be seen inside the cockpit talking to a staff member. The crew did not respond to the man’s shouts.

An Orthodox Jewish person spoke up in defense of the Hasidic couple. Then the whole family siblings and in-laws started leaving the plane at which point the @FlyFrontier ordered everyone off of the airplane. pic.twitter.com/N1OwqxFI3Q

— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021

As more passengers began defending the family, airline staff ordered everyone to exit the aircraft.

As the family began moving off the plane, applause could be heard from the back of the plane, and several witnesses claim the staff was applauding and congratulating themselves for removing the family.

One staff member allegedly said, “A job well done to those Jews.”

EYEWITNESS VIDEO! Multiple people say on the record in this video that as the Hasidic couple started leaving the airplane, @FlyFrontier staff applauded, exchanged high fives and one allegedly said “a job well done to those Jews.” Att @PeteButtigieg @FAANews @SenatorCantwell pic.twitter.com/m1Azjw5Hbx

— OJPAC (@OJPAC) March 1, 2021

Frontier Airlines issued a statement on their Twitter page claiming that the family was removed because several adults refused to wear masks, despite the video showing otherwise:

“Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA. Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.”

Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA. Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.

— Frontier Airlines (@FlyFrontier) March 1, 2021

When reached by media for further comment, Frontier Airlines repeated the claim that adults refused to comply with the mask mandate:

“Based on the continued refusal to comply with the federal mask mandate, refusal to disembark the aircraft and aggression towards the flight crew, local law enforcement was engaged.”

No adult members of the family appeared without a mask in any of the videos capturing the incident.

An Executive Order issued by the Transportation Security Administration requires all passengers aboard a commercial flight to wear masks. There is an exemption for children under the age of 2. Via – Law Enforcement Today

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