American Airlines responded Thursday after a video went viral of an asthmatic maskless toddler who reportedly was kicked off a plane for not wearing a mask.
Amanda Pendarvis shared the video on her Instagram Stories of what she said happened after she boarded AA Flight 1284 in Dallas-Fort Worth with her 2-year-old son, Waylon and her mother when her son had an asthma attack and wasn’t wearing a mask. The airline told Marketwatch the flight was returned to the gate and Pendarvis deplaned. (RELATED: American Airlines To Begin Filling Planes To Capacity July 1)
The statement said Pendarvis refused to “comply with crew member instructions to remain seated while on an active taxiway and to wear face coverings securely over their nose and mouth.” The family was rebooked for another flight, and no fees were associated with the rebooking, the airline added. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Biden Said ‘I Wouldn’t Demand [Vaccines] To Be Mandatory’)
“After observing a minor in the party laying in the aisle and moving between seats on taxi out, our flight crew made multiple attempts to reinforce safety requirements,” a spokesperson for the airline shared. “While addressing the party, our crew also reminded the individuals in the party that federal directives require customers to wear a face covering at all times while on board unless actively eating or drinking.”
“At no time was it made known to our crew members that a member of the party was experiencing an asthma attack or trouble breathing,” the person added. “Individuals were not addressed for failure to comply with face covering requirements at any point while administering treatment.”
In the video, which a friend also posted on Twitter, she insisted she “was not refusing a mask, nor did” she say she “wouldn’t try to keep a mask on” her son, who she said was asthmatic.
“We were escorted off the plane as I was holding a mask over his little face,” she added. “I genuinely don’t have words.”
Pendarvis called the experience the most “humiliating/traumatizing experience” because the flight attendant “had the plane turned around and had” them “escorted off to be met by police officers.”
“Why?” she added. “Wait for it … because my two-year-old was not properly wearing a mask.”