American Airlines Kicks Off 20 Passengers From A Single Flight Over Masks, Even A 3 Year Old

Twenty passengers headed to Hawaii were kicked off a flight by American Airlines on Sunday. Ten adults and ten children (ages 3 to 13) were on board a Salt Lake City to Dallas Fort-Worth flight when, they say, a gate agent flagged one of them for inadvertently letting their face mask fall beneath their nose.

As one family member says, corroborated by another passenger who says they were interviewed by American, they were kicked off not for being mask refuseniks but for a single member of the family have a brief mask slip. They report addressing the issue right away and thinking they’d go on with their flight.

American says the family “was noncompliant with their face covering policy.” An airline agent reported to the family that “the captain of the flight crew needed them off.” And it wasn’t just the one family member, it was the whole family.

According to the witness, though, “the family [was] wearing masks at all times” and was “unfairly removed.” It’s often difficult to sort through passenger versus airline versions of a story, but tellingly American Airlines didn’t just rebook them on later flights (according to the airline, after receiving assurances that the passengers would follow face covering policies) but they even rebooked family members on United and Delta flights to re-accommodate them.

If the airline had been in the right here it seems unlikely that they would have paid for other airline rebooking. According to American Airlines, though:

On Sunday, Jan. 24, passengers traveling on American Airlines flight 1214 from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) were reported to be noncompliant with our mandatory face covering policy, which requires face coverings be worn properly over the nose and mouth. Per procedure, the customers involved were asked to exit the aircraft before departure and the flight departed for DFW shortly after.

American, like other U.S. airlines, began requiring customers to wear a face covering while on board aircraft beginning May 11. We have since strengthened our policy to require face coverings be worn at airports and on board, and announced in June that we may deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering for the duration of this requirement.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Normally I’d say there is more to the story, but given AA is really holding back in their statement, it appears there probably isn’t (or there were maybe 2-3 people who didn’t have masks on properly rather than 1).

  2. @Gary, of course the 3 year-old is going to be “kicked off” if the rest of the family is being de-planed. What other option would there be? For the toddler to fly, unescorted, and arrive in Hawaii, alone?

  3. If people don’t want to wear masks they should buy first class tickets so they can take them off, sip that sweet champagne, and breathe like the rest of us!

  4. Appears to be a overzealous gate agent wielding some power over passengers. The agent will be lucky not to be fired.

  5. Shoulda paid for J/F. AA doesn’t seem to care if you wear a mask during taxi, take-off, or deplaning just as long as you’re up front.

  6. There’s not enough J/F seats for 20 people flying together, even if they buy out the entire cabin.

  7. This sounds bogus. Someone had a facemask slip and they immediately corrected it and then 20 people get kicked off? Does that sound remotely plausible? Come on there is certainly more to it than that. Lets also be clear. The airline was NOT in the wrong here. The mask policy is clear. Somebody was not wearing their mask. That person was in the wrong and I am willing to bet they didn’t just quickly pull the mask up. I bet they decided to mouth off about it leading to this being escalated. Your whole “even a 3 year old” comment is total clickbait garbage. Like they can leave a three year old on the plane if the adults are being removed.

  8. Keep in mind these are people who in the middle of a pandemic appear to be taking a non-essential vacation to Hawaii and bringing twenty family members. It is doubtful that they are the type to take the pandemic seriously.

  9. The pandemic had really brought out the trash. When these stories come out I’m never surprised when I learn more about the culprits.

    If you really want to have fun with these types of stories, check out the “victim’s” social media posts. The whining and terrible logic is always worth a laugh.

    Shame Spirit doesn’t fly to Hawaii.

  10. @Bill is correct–every trip to Hawaii is non-essential and needs to be banned by the US Government. Furthermore, given the climate emergency the planet is experiencing, all future trips–forever–need to also be banned. And I mean ALL trips and people. There is absolutely no reason any individual needs to travel to Hawaii.

    I will even go further and say that that Hawaii should be the proving ground for Ted Turner’s Buffalo Commons plan (google it–but basically to remove ALL people from the plains flyover states, where nobody wants to live anyway, and let it revert to nature). We need a 5 year plan to depopulate ALL people from every Hawaiian island except Oahu (that will be depopulated in the next 5 year plan). No reason Lanai could not be depopulated by the end of 2021 as a start. This includes native Hawaiians too, as they are not really “native” to the islands–they just got there first, but are still an invasive species.

    If the Hawaii experiment works, it can be expanded to 90%+ of the USA in the following 10 year plan.

    Think this is far fetched and insane??? I agree, but I bet I could sell this idea to the Biden admin.

  11. I have flown AA 1st class several times during pandemic and mask rule is enforced. Fair, firm and consistent

  12. If I see one more moron with his mask on underneath his nose, I’m going to punch him in it. Okay I’m not but it’s disturbing nonetheless. I don’t believe it was inadvertent in this case. Morons on planes and in stores and all over pretend to be wearing a mask by wearing it only over their mouth or better yet, as a chin diaper. They do it knowingly because it is more comfortable, because they can get away with it and because they don’t think the rest of the world deserves to be protected from their germs. I was on a flight this week (JetBlue but could have been any airline) with a couple of anti-maskers. The man and his wife had bandanas loosely around their necks and most of the time they would keep them off their faces. They were seated across the aisle from a guy who was complaining he couldn’t breathe wearing a mask (poor guy, neither can the doctors and nurses who will be forced to try to save your sorry ass if you get infected). They showed him how to use a bandana to pretend to cover your face when the FA walks by and then let it flop off. They said they could help him get a fake medical expemption too and gave him their phone number. I told the FAs but they didn’t do anything. I dont care what your political or religious or delusional beliefs are: If you don’t want to wear a mask OVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE please stay the hell home.

  13. The hypocrisy of AA is what blows my mind. I was on a flight on Friday and a couple in first class continually pulled down their masks. Partially to talk to each other and also to “eat.” I put eat in quotes because I have a feeling she was “eating” only as an excuse not to wear their masks. As I saw her mouth moving and they had food on the flight, but for the entire 3 hour LAS-DFW flight?

    There was a flight attendant in the jump seat the entire time and she didn’t do anything! Right now I don’t know even know what a FA does on a flight since they don’t serve anything. One would think they’d have time to note people obviously not wearing a mask. Not only that but the guy was coughing, clearing his throat, and just generally being kind of disgusting, all of which not wearing a mask, which made it twice as bad…

    I’ve seen way too many videos of how confrontations go down, for me to say anything directly to them. Yet they were so obvious I noticed them even before the flight not wearing masks, then on the flight, and finally, after the flight was over, sitting in chairs at DFW not wearing masks. Yet no one did anything.

    I did tweet AA and give their row number and flight, but can you guess what the response was?

    “We’re so sorry about this. We’re going to share your feedback with our Flight Service leadership team.”

  14. If only half of the passengers would start to refuse to wear masks then this nonsense would end rather quickly.

  15. @Dale that makes perfect sense. Also if everyone just refuses to wear seat belts or stop at red lights, automobile injury rates will go way down.

    There’s nothing to “refuse”. You don’t have a god-given right as an American to get on an airplane or walk into a business without a mask. You do have a right to stay home or walk or drive if you don’t recognize rules and science.

  16. This goes way beyond any of your personal views on how masks are worn and if they are even needed. I wear one (correctly) but see many that don’t wear them correctly. Also, I willingly take leisure trips so don’t want a lecture from those that elect not to – it is a personal choice based on individual risk tolerance and situations. Personally, I wear a mask indoors (2, including a KN95 one when I fly), distance myself from others (with extra distance if I see people not wearing them correctly) and use a lot of hand sanitizer.

    Now back to the facts of the story. Regardless of your views or speculation I fully agree w Gary that AA basically admitted they made a mistake. Even though the release didn’t admit it the fact they paid to put family members on UA and DL (when they could have easily rebooked them on AA) says they went above and beyond to correct a problem. That says it all IMHO.

  17. I think this is GREAT! So tired of all these people thinking they are better than the rest. I don’t like wearing a face covering either, however I do because it’s currently the rules or regulations. I think if more people got kicked off and had a one year ban from flying then maybe it would drive home the consequences. I think with a family of 20, they could have paid for 1/3 of a Greyhound bus.

  18. I fly frequently to Atlanta and Florida.
    There are some non compliant passengers that needed to be removed.
    I never seen an airline removing a paying mask wearing passengers getting thrown out of the airplane.
    That just crazy for the airline to throw away $$$.

  19. @ Potsey Weber “As I saw her mouth moving and they had food on the flight, but for the entire 3 hour LAS-DFW flight?” Need I say more??? Relax, enjoy a book or a movie instead of sticking your nose in everyone’s business, trying to save the world. And if that’s too much, consider staying home.

  20. @david Part of the reason I was somewhat comfortable flying is everyone is REQUIRED to wear a mask. It becomes my business when I could potentially get exposed or infected by someone’s carelessness, selfishness, and disregard for their fellow man. Especially when they’re well within a 6-foot area and the guy is coughing and clearing his throat.

    Mask wearing is to protect both parties. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s a scientifically proven way to reduce that risk. So by them not wearing masks they’re spreading particulates in the air potentially affecting everyone on the plane including me… so it is my business and it should have been American’s business too.

  21. Bill says: “Lets also be clear. The airline was NOT in the wrong here. ”

    Excellent use of “Let’s be clear.” Exactly the same way it gets used by political pundits.

  22. Any idiot still promoting masks has no clue about health or reality. Only uneducated morons believe in masks. Fresh air is the cure for respiratory diseases. Health is the cure for all disease.

  23. Mind your business unless you are the mask po po. Make sure you are safe by staying home also.

  24. This mask thing really encapsulates what Americans (well some of them) are historically and inherently bad at: selflessness. To state the obvious, wearing a mask in a shared, public space especially an enclosed one where you are forced to share air and space with others, is an act of caring, an act of generoristy. Yes it may be a but uncomfortable. Yes you are giving up a tiny, little piece of your freedom for a few hours. But you are doing it to help the rest of us, along with yourself even if you are too stupid to realize it. Refusing to wear one, or insisting on wearing it wrong, or intentionally taking your time eating or drinking (and I know EXACTLY what @Potsey is talking about– so many people will nurse a drink or snack on a plane or at a bar or in a hotel or restaurant for hours so they can relax and hang out without a mask) is an act of selfishness, plain and simple. It’s not about your personal freedom. It’s about the fact that you care about yourself more than others. And for many Americans especially that is just a concept they can’t wrap their heads around.

    The same flight I was on this week had a large family traveling, mother and four girls. Every one of them either wore their mask under their nose or pulled it off every chance they got. Some were teenagers, some were younger. They learned the selfish beahvior from modeling by selfish parents.

    I’ve really had it with this issue. If you really care about “freedom” and “rights” then respect those of everyone around you and wear a mask. And if you don’t, please feel free get your selfish mouth and nose banned ASAP. I’m am 100% of airline enforcement.

  25. Hey, I agree with airline ,these people that don’t want to comply..kick them off. I wouldn’t spend a dime to fly on plane that over look these people…I wish these none complying people, that feel privileged to not follow rules, be shipped to an island to infect each other.

  26. How could american airlines kicking off passengers when they don’t even practice social distancing,I have seen on three flights in the hart of covid-19 and we were all sitting in each other faces ,the planes were fully book,then coming off the plane they are asking you to stay six feet apart,after we just sitting on each other,I could not believe it,they are they not in compliance at all

  27. There WAS more to this story…
    Somewhere in there “Dad” told the Captain to F off. Captain was standing at the galley when Dad was asked to fix his mask. His response wasn’t nice and when Captain spoke up Dad didn’t realize he was the Captain and said what he said. Yes he did. That gets 20 people kicked off the flight. Don’t believe me? Just try it.

  28. I have never once had a mask “slip” off of my nose. If you’re wearing it even half-correctly in the first place, that doesn’t happen.

  29. I give this article zero credit based on there title alone. “… Even a 3 Year Old”? How stupid do you think people are?!

  30. Sorry, but the airlines is wrong. At the airport they shove everyone together, no social distancing, & their own crew wears the masks wrong! Where someone wants to go on vacation is their own business. You can’t just stop living your life. Just be more careful.

  31. The shamdemic reveals the communists again. There is no reliable source that states masks do any good. Keep being sheep and you will be slaughtered.

  32. Oh dear Potsey, when your plane is on fire and they get you out in less than 45 seconds, you’ll be glad they were there. Bring your own damn food and drink.

  33. Worst airline i have ever been on. Make you wear masks which is fine but there is no 6 feet apart. Everyone is on top of each boarding and deplaning it was awful. Will never fly American again.

  34. I don’t see how taking a vacation to Hawaii is essential travel. Traveling with 20 people including kids is a good way for someone to ignore the policy (a child or teen) or have one that believes the virus is a hoax. Expand the family circle large enough and we all have that person. Removing them all is a lot faster than arguing with them on who gets to go and who gets to stay. The idea is to get the flight back on schedule as soon as possible so the other customers don’t have to suffer.

  35. American airlines=fashist,dictators.Discrimination of those people who have health problem, anxiety, breathing problem and ect .Why can’t be done anything for those people?Are you going to kick them off the plane? What happened to those flight attendants with nice,friendly smiles? Now they turned into nasty ,violent jandarms.

  36. I cannot even say what I’d LIKE TO SAY on here. And I haven’t even read ALL of the comments. But BILL you are stupid, and TONY you are as well. WHY were you 2 on the plane? Was YOUR travel “essential”? And who are you to decide if their trip was “essential”?
    They could have been going to a FUNERAL! Perhaps they had a family member that wasn’t going to be around much longer. Did they SAY they were going ON VACATION? Did they TELL YOU that they WERE JUST GOING FOR FUN? Truth is, YOU have no idea WHY they were going, DO YOU???
    ….exactly!!
    So why comment when you have NO IDEA ABOUT THE FACTS!!!
    It is SAD that there are IDIOTS who actually believe that wearing a mask is doing ANYTHING (other than really irritating people).
    And think about this… you get on an airplane, a I big metal tube with recirculated air, you take your mask off to eat/drink (because you can’t transmit/receive germs then), and you can sit next to someone (or in front of or behind) that COULD HAVE THE PLAGUE FOR ALL YOU KNOW, but the Nazi agents makes everyone put a mask on and THAT MAKES EVERYONE (every IDIOT THAT IS) feel better?? So if anyone is THAT WORRIED, then shouldn’t THAT PERSON STAY AT HOME!?!?!

  37. Masks don’t seem to be solving the problem. They may be useless. I think the Doctors missed something.

  38. I dont know why anyone is surprised. Isn’t this exactly what the “no exception mask wearing” group wanted? Wear the mask! Wear it properly! Mask police coming out of the woodwork to make sure all comply. You can not have your cake and eat it too.

  39. They need no mask flights… I guarantee there will be a plethora of people on standby for open seats, of which there would be none.

  40. Carry a bottle of water with you…sip every 5 mins on the flight to keep mask down to breath…thank me later

  41. 1) if Dad mouthed off to the Csptain then that can explain this.

    2) To many FA’s and Gate Agents become easily drunk with their FAA authority. There air are dumbass pax, but dumbass FA”s and agents too.

    3) incredible how many people have become mask fascists. Many of these hysterical facist will insists on masks for years to come.

  42. Good grief every comment is more pathetic than the next. Every one of you are judging people you don’t know, sitting pretty high up there on your moral horse feeling all righteous and superior. You’re like those people who gleefully reported their family, friends and neighbors to the Nazi justifying it because they are incapable of critical thinking. Take off your stupid mask. There is a 99.997% chance of survival if you are not sickly. This so called pandemic is a crime against humanity. Wake up

  43. I am so glad AA kicked them all off. Perhaps Americans might get angry enough with the government telling us what to wear, like the Nazis told the Jews, we will have had enough and rebel and take back ALL our freedoms.

  44. You guys realize that masks don’t do squat against a virus. You are sheep being trained to obey! Wake up and watch Fall of the Cabal on Bitchute.

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