A passenger has become one of the first to be kicked off a plane for not wearing a face mask. Flight attendants were required to wear masks and gloves while on board as part of a health protocol.
American Airlines declined to say how often people are banned. However, things did not go as smoothly as planned.
At that point, his refusal began to agitate other passengers, who also told him to wear a mask. This comes just days after airlines announced that there would be stricter enforcement of their mandatory face covering policy.
He flatly refused, even after it was explained to him that face masks are compulsory under the airline's coronavirus policy.
On each separate occasion, Brandon Straka refused to comply. The flight crew member asks, "Do you have a medical certificate, do you have documentation from a doctor, do you have a letter?"
Straka told CNN in a phone interview that the flight was close to departing when "one of the flight attendants came to me pretty aggressively and said, 'Sir, you need to be wearing your mask.' And I said, 'Well, I don't have one'".
Straka said he flew frequently and had never been forced to wear a mask. "I've never worn a mask".
According to Herndon, after boarding late he noticed Straka wasn't wearing a mask but brushed it off. He disputed that he gave conflicting answers about having a medical condition.
The airline is not allowed to legally ask Straka to reveal his medical condition. "STILL nobody has asked if there's a reason why I can't", he wrote. "Mr Straka will be permitted to fly with us once face coverings are no longer required for customers".
Upon landing, Singh was arrested and charged with mischief and three counts of failing to comply with instructions of a flight crew, per the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was eventually ejected from the flight after a delay, drawing applause from passengers. He said that he had no legal obligation to wear a mask. He also accused American's employees of intimidating him. The disparity between airline policy and the law leaves a grey area about what advice passengers should follow. But that wasn't his only offense - he also lit up a cigarette on board, police say.
"Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline's face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline", the Airlines for America statement said. American already enforces this policy at the gate and will deny boarding to customers who don't comply. "American made this change after working in conjunction with Airlines for America on an industrywide response".
"As a result of this review, Mr. Straka will not be permitted to fly American, as he failed to comply with our stated policy and crewmember instructions", it stated.
The statement continued: "Restricting travel is a step we take very seriously, and it will only occur after a comprehensive review of the facts of an incident".
There is no federal mandate to wear a mask in public, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends them in public settings where social distancing is not possible. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. You'll experience fewer delays and will avoid the risk of missing flights in the future.