Video shows a Spirit Airlines flight attendant threatening to kick a family of four off a plane in Florida on Monday — arguing that their 2-year-old girl wasn’t wearing a mask.
All of the passengers on the flight from Orlando to Atlantic City were eventually forced to get off the plane before later being allowed back on board.
In footage posted on social media, a flight attendant told the Jewish family — including a toddler sitting on her pregnant mom’s lap eating yogurt and a dad who pulled his mask down to speak with the airline worker — that they needed to exit the plane for “non-compliance” with the mask rules.
WATCH THIS: A family was just kicked off a @SpiritAirlines flight from Orlando to NY, because their two-year-old child who was eating, wasn’t wearing a mask. The mother is 7 months pregnant, and they have a special needs child. The entire flight was deplaned. pic.twitter.com/dcjLIEbDfA
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 5, 2021
The dad pulled his mask up over his mouth and nose but the Spirit staffer nodded to the tot and said, “She’s not wearing a mask,” according to the clip.
“The baby?” the mom replied incredulously.
A woman seated next to them points out that “a lot of kids aren’t wearing masks.”
“You’ve been sitting next to me. Was I wearing the mask the whole time? Was I wearing the mask the whole time, everybody?” said the dad, who pulled his mask down and back up several times during the encounter.
“I’ll make sure he wears it. Everything is going to be fine,” said a man who appeared to be filming the interaction.
The mom argued, “That’s only a child and a 2-year-old.”
“It’s not my choice. You have to take your stuff and get off,” the airline worker insisted, repeatedly saying the family was in “non-compliance with the mask policy.”
“We’re done talking. The pilot wants you off, so you have to get off,” she said.
The mom continued to plead that “She’s a baby. She just turned 2 a month ago. She’s been trying to wear it.”
The flight attendant threatened to call the police before walking away, according to the video.
Another clip showed all the passengers packing up as the dad tells someone, “The captain was OK with it, the entire plane was OK with it but there was one African American that was not OK with it.”
He also notes that his wife is pregnant, that his daughter just turned 2 and that his son, who was sitting nearby, has special needs and experiences seizures.
A third video showed cops in the walkway leading out of the plane, with one female officer heard saying, “They’re the ones who were the problem” as the family appears to walk by.
Orlando police said they were called just before noon Monday about a general disturbance aboard a Spirit flight out of the airport.
“Upon arrival, officers saw that the flight was in the middle of de-boarding. Our officers stood by, while Spirit Airlines resolved the issue,” a spokesman said.
A Spirit representative insisted to The Post that it was the parents who broke the airline’s face covering policy and that their violation was not caught on camera.
The family was given a warning and allowed to reboard the flight and proceed to their destination, the rep said.
Some social media posts claiming that a male flight attendant, said to also have been involved in the spat, was kicked off the flight and “escorted” off by police, citing a video showing him walking in the terminal near some cops.
A Spirit spokesperson explained that the employee was actually just leaving due to a crew change.
“The only thing that happened with the flight attendant was that after two hours of a delay, there was a crew change required and somebody captured police who had come to the gate for the general situation locking down the concourse at the same time as this flight attendant was going on to their next assignment,” spokesman Field Sutton told New Jersey 101.5.
Sutton told The Post: “There is no truth to claims that a flight attendant ‘wasn’t allowed to get back on board’ or that police became involved with a flight attendant. Orlando police have stated publicly that, though present at the gate, they did not take an active role in this situation.”
Spirit requires all passengers to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth, except when eating or drinking. Children under the age of 2 are exempt..
Source: By David Meyer and Tamar Lapin | Ney York Post