A Spirit Airlines crew delayed a flight from Orlando, forced all of its passengers off the plane, and called the police Monday when a couple were unable to keep a mask on their two year-old daughter. The passengers—including the family— were eventually allowed back onto the plane, and a flight attendant was removed from the flight.
A video posted on social media shows a flight attendant approaching the Jewish parents, along with their children—the toddler, and a boy with special needs—and telling them to pack up their stuff and get off the plane.
The pregnant mother was holding the maskless child—who was eating yogurt— on her lap, when the flight attendant accosted them.
“I’m sorry, but they want you off,” she said, blaming the situation on the pilot.. “It’s not my choice…the pilot wants you off.” She told them it was for “non-compliance.”
“I keep putting it on,” the mother protested, “she keeps pulling it off….she’s a baby.”
Fellow passengers can be heard in the video speaking up the parents, because they could see that the child was eating, and likely understood that most toddlers don’t like having their faces covered.
When the father refused to leave, the flight attendant threatened to call the police, and stormed off.
The father later said a woman told him that the flight attendant was heard on the phone plotting to get them kicked off the plane.
“A lady over here heard someone on the phone before we even got on the plane, that they were planning this,” he said. “The captain was okay with it, the whole plane was okay with it, but there was one African-American that was not okay with it. Why? ‘You’re not complying.’ What do you mean? ‘You’re not complying.’”
The mother later put a mask on the toddler, who tearfully pulled it off after a few moments. The mother also her special needs child has seizures.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 5, 2021
A gate attendant later announced that the flight was undergoing a small “crew change,” prompting applause from the passengers.
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/MWSzUdi3eB
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) April 5, 2021
Everyone has herded back onto the plane except for the flight attendant responsible for the brouhaha.
Spirit has faced criticism in the past for its stringent mask policies. Last month, the airline removed a family after their four-year-old child with autism refused to wear a mask.
According to Spirit’s website, only children under the age of two and people with disabilities, are exempted from their mask rule.