For at least the third time in 15 days, a passenger has been kicked off a flight for refusing to wear a face mask as airlines continue to crack down on fliers.
This time, the incident happened on Friday when a man flying a Spirit Airlines flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale declined to wear his face mask. Spirit is one of the carriers that require passengers to wear a face-covering to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The unidentified man took his mask off before the flight ever left. Spirit crew members called for authorities and the man was confronted by Port Authority police, according to a report in USA Today.
“The whole plane is a witness, I didn’t do anything,” the man told police officers. He asked why he was being removed and at least one person on the plane backed him, saying the man was taking the mask off to drink.”
The situation remained under control as the man told police he was flying to see his father, who had a stroke. The passenger asked if he could stay on the flight; when authorities declined, he left without incident.
“Ultimately, the man chose to deplane on his own instead of risking legal consequences,” Spirit said in a statement. “Spirit will always err on the side of caution when it comes to the health and safety of our Guests. Wearing a face covering is simple, it’s easy, and it’s critical to Spirit and the airline industry as a whole. We thank the thousands of Guests and Spirit Team Members who do their part each day to protect each other, and we will continue to enforce the use of face coverings on board our aircraft.”
The decision to wear a face mask has been a disturbing issue across the country, as health officials plead with people to continue to protect themselves and others by wearing a face covering – while many citizens feel it is an affront to their personal rights.
That has been magnified in the tight spaces on airplanes. Last month, a political activist was removed from an American Airlines flight for refusing to wear a mask.
Days later, a 66-year old man on a WestJet flight from Vancouver to Toronto was removed after failing to put his mask on and lighting a cigarette in protest.
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