Passenger Brandon Straka was travelling on an American Airlines Flight 1263 when he was removed for not wearing a mask. Picture: Instagram/AmericanAirlines.
Passenger Brandon Straka was travelling on an American Airlines Flight 1263 when he was removed for not wearing a mask. Picture: Instagram/AmericanAirlines.

Passenger removed from flight after refusing to wear mask recollects ‘insane’ experience

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 19, 2020

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A passenger who was travelling from New York to Dallas, Texas on Wednesday was removed from a flight for refusing to wear a mask on the plane. The passenger named Brandon Straka was travelling on an American Airlines Flight 1263 when the incident happened. 

IANS reported that he was removed after he refused to wear a face-covering in compliance with its Covid-19 safety policy. 

Straka took to Twitter to share his side of the story to his 399 000 followers. He called the experience “insane”. 

“I was just removed from my flight for not wearing a mask. 1st time this has happened. Not a federal law. @AmericanAir staff standing over me telling me it’s THE LAW. So much for “please respect those who can not wear a mask”. When I pointed out this wasn’t a law I was removed.” (sic)

He said that he filmed the entire incident and went live on Twitter to share his experience. He alleged that an airline staff member told him that they did not have a right to question him about not wearing a mask.

Straka also revealed in a Twitter post that he received death threats since the incident. “The past 24 hrs has proven conclusively to me what I already knew. I have been inundated with death threats, attacks on social media & email. None of these ppl have asked if I there’s a reason why I couldn’t wear the mask. They are just another arm of the left’s rageful mob.” (sic). 

American Airlines confirmed the incident to CNN, saying that Straka declined to wear a face covering.

Two days before the incident American Airlines announced a stronger policy for customer face coverings as part of its commitment to the safety and well-being of customers and team members.

It revealed in a statement: “American, like other US airlines, already requires customers to wear a face covering while on board an aircraft. American already enforces this policy at the gate and will deny boarding to customers who don’t comply. 

“American now may also deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering. American made this change after working in conjunction with Airlines for America on an industrywide response. We believe the face covering requirement is important, so customers will notice more reminders of our policy as they travel with us, both at the airport and in flight.

“Some passengers are exempt from the face covering requirement, such as young children and those with a disability or medical reason for why they cannot wear a face covering. The policy also does not apply while eating or drinking,” the airline revealed.

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