David Harris, Jr., whose book title describes himself as a black conservative, posted a livestream refusing to wear a mask on American Airlines. With a wink and a nod he suggested that a medical issue with a mask was enough to exempt anyone from the requirement. It was clear he didn’t have a ‘real’ medical need. Indeed he had a photo of himself on Instagram wearing a mask.
At the time of this flight a couple of weeks ago American Airlines did still allow customers to fly without masks if they had a medical reason to do so. That’s no longer permitted. And today he posted a video of himself being turned away from an American Airlines flight from Dallas Fort-Worth to Los Angeles.
Wearing a Trump Pence mask, he narrates being turned away at the airport. In his telling his reservation still showed as active online, but he couldn’t check in. He says he called and was told he’d have to go to the airport – a usual answer an agent might give if they didn’t do any actual investigation.
— David J Harris Jr (@DavidJHarrisJr) August 11, 2020
Harris suggests that American didn’t communicate his travel ban to him. The agent at the airport told him his ticket was ‘voided’. After (he reports) 30 minutes he learns that he was not permitted to travel on American because of a past issue with the airline. He admits that he received a phone call that medical exemptions would no longer be permitted.
He is wearing a mask now because medical exemptions are no longer permitted which suggests his problem with masks wasn’t especially grave to start with.
If it’s true that American didn’t tell him he was banned that’s unfortunate and a real fail because it means they set up a potential future conflict at the airport with their employees, and set up a passenger who might not be wearing a mask to come to the airport. However he acknowledges receiving a call from the airline about the end of the medical mask exemption, which is itself far above and beyond usual procedure.
It’s clear that the airline saw his prior video, saw that he was faking a medical issue, and banned him – something that usually takes multiple violations. If he hadn’t posted bragging on social media about circumventing mask rules and delaying a flight, he’d like have been able to take his flight.
Two months ago American banned another conservative activist who videotaped himself refusing to wear a mask.