Spirit Airlines allegedly kicked a family off their plane Monday because a two-year-old wasn’t wearing a mask while eating, drawing widespread rebukes from social media users.
The video showed a family onboard a Spirit Airlines flight from Orlando to New York. A flight attendant told the family they must leave the plane “because their two-year-old child” who was eating food “wasn’t wearing a mask.” The family objected, but the attendant cited the family’s “non-compliance” with the airline rule and demanded they “get off” the plane.
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
Passengers around the family can be overheard telling the flight attendant they were doing nothing wrong, noting that the girl was only a baby. The parents also explained they are expecting another baby and have a “special needs child” who suffers from “seizures.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 5, 2021
The entire flight ended up deplaned following the exchange, but in the tweet thread, a user update stated, “flight attendant who ordered the family off the flight was removed, family allowed back on. Passengers are reboarding with a new flight crew.”
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.
— David Grinhut (@thoughts18) April 5, 2021
The father also posted an update once he and his family reboarded, claiming that the steward who had initially demanded the family leave the plane, had himself been removed.
— Disclose.tv ???? (@disclosetv) April 5, 2021
However, a Spirit Airlines representative told the New York Post that the parents had also violated the airline mask policy, which requires face coverings for passengers over the age of two. The representative claimed they were never caught on video without masks.
Another spokesman for Spirit, Field Sutton, told the outlet, “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.” Several Twitter users had alleged that the Orlando Police Department got involved with the incident, according to the New York Post.
Other social media users, including Megyn Kelly and Dave Rubin, still railed against the airline for deplaning the flight and trying to kick off the family. Kelly chimed in, tweeting, “If you follow the thread you will see the airline finally let them back on the plane, but we have lost our ever-loving minds.”
If you follow the thread you will see the airline finally let them back on the plane, but we have lost our ever-loving minds. https://t.co/4q7T8Cnrsn
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) April 5, 2021
Rubin said, “we have unleashed something very evil via people without purpose grasping for any sort of control of the world,” referring to the flight attendant who tried to kick off the family.
It’s good they were let back on, but we have unleashed something very evil via people without purpose grasping for any sort of control of the world.
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) April 5, 2021
The flight attendant was completely in the wrong here but I cringed every time the dad kept taking off his mask. Ewww talking loud standing up without a mask on spreading his particles everywhere
— soo (@SooTrueBlueToo) April 5, 2021
Does this happen a lot in America?
I can see it happening in North Korea and Russia, but the USA is supposed to be the Land of the Free.
— George Mac Esq. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????? (@dubsies1) April 5, 2021
This is OUT OF CONTROL! They are dividing our country on more levels that we can keep up with. Shame on you @SpiritAirlines We will not be needing your services anymore!
— Ann Niebuhr (@annniebuhr) April 5, 2021
We’re at the point where every interaction with airline flight attendants has to be recorded to prove that an infant isn’t breaking a mask law that should never have been applied to infants in the first place.
I’m old enough to remember when this was supposed to be science.
— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) April 5, 2021
Spirit Airlines told Business Insider that they stand by their decision to have de-boarded the plane, which they said is standard procedure for the industry. The airline also claimed that the parents violated their mask policy and refused to leave the plane, prompting the decision to remove all passengers. Had the parents initially complied, the flight would not have been deplaned, Spirit Airlines said.
The family eventually spoke with an airline supervisor and agreed to comply with the mask policy, according to Newsweek. Orlando Police also confirmed with Newsweek that they were called to the airport and stood by while the issue was resolved.