This past Tuesday American Airlines flight AA2248 from Dallas Fort-Worth to San Francisco was delayed when the pilot decided to turn the aircraft back to the gate and offload a woman who refused to wear a mask.
But this wasn’t just any woman and this wasn’t just a mask story. Those have become like Casablanca‘s diamonds, “a drug on the market,” there are maskless passenger stories everywhere, everybody tells those.
Instead what we had on October 20th was a woman who sat herself down in first class, even though she was ticketed in coach. She did that for social distancing. She explained that someone was sitting in her seat in coach, so she upgraded herself into an empty first class seat. She was removed back to the coach cabin by an employee.
So surprise to all the passengers when this same woman wound up returning to the front of the Boeing 737-800 cabin – and leaving the aircraft. The plane had made its way out to the taxiway, and some time after pushback returned to the gate. The self-upgrader was being kicked off the flight. She didn’t have a mask, and though a flight attendant grabbed one from the galley for her that didn’t settle matters.
Back at the gate the woman was wearing the American Airlines-provided mask, pulled her bag out of an overhead bin in first class, and left the aircraft. In all the flight departure was delayed about an hour.