An asthmatic toddler has been booted from an American Airlines flight by a “truly evil” attendant over mask compliance.
The mother of an asthmatic two-year-old has slammed the “truly evil, power-tripping” attendant who removed her family from an American Airlines flight over mask compliance.
Amanda Pendarvis and her young son, Waylon, were travelling from Dallas to Colorado on Monday when the flight attendant noticed the child was having trouble keeping his mask on.
“He got on the intercom and to say to the entire plane, ‘I’m sorry for the delay but we are dealing with a non-compliant traveller,” Ms Pendarvis said of the encounter.
“I was not refusing a mask, nor did I even say I wouldn’t try to keep a mask on my son. We were escorted off the plane as I was holding a mask over his little face. I genuinely don’t have words.”
She described the situation as “the most humiliating/traumatising experience” because of the flight attendant, whose name was Carl.
“He had the plane turned around and had us escorted off to be met by police officers. Why? Wait for it … because my two-year-old was not properly wearing a mask,” she said.
“Mind you, Way is asthmatic. We had showed [the flight attendant] a negative Covid test Way had yesterday. Told him he has asthma and has never worn a mask before. He did not care that this asthmatic child was literally hyperventilating.”
The Biden administration’s mask mandate requires all public transport passengers aged two and over to wear a face mask unless they are eating or drinking, or because a disability prevents them from wearing one.
American Airlines does offer a disability exemption for mask wearing, but requires passengers to obtain one in advance. The Pendarvis family reportedly did not have one.
“Initial reports indicate the party refused to comply with crew member instructions to remain seated and wear a face mask securely over their nose and mouth,” an American Airlines spokesman told Live and Let’s Fly.
“After agreeing to adhere to federal face covering requirements, all individuals were rebooked for travel on the next flight to Colorado Springs.”
President and co-founder of Washington consumer advocacy group, Travellers Unite, Charles Leocha, told Business Insider that airlines were being too heavy-handed when it came to small children and Covid-19 regulations.
“Airlines that insist on having two- and three-year-old children wear masks at all times will always face problems,” he said.
“Treating a two-year-old like a 30-year-old is foolish and unnatural.”
To reduce the chance of a dispute, he suggested that before flying, “parents should help younger children practice wearing masks so kids are comfortable wearing them during flight”.
But, he said, the responsibility also falls on airlines, who “should allow common sense to prevail”.