Frontier Airlines Cancels Flight AFter 18 Month Old Refuses To Wear Mask

Frontier Airlines cancelled its Miami – New York LaGuardia flight 2878 Sunday evening over a mask incident. The airline says that a ‘large group’ of passengers wouldn’t wear masks. The family, and some other passengers, dispute that characterization – say it was a maskless 18 month old who triggered the incident which caused the planeload of passengers to be rebooked for this morning.

According to a passenger on board, “We were all on the plane when they [flight attendants] came on and saw the 18-month-old baby without a mask.”

And in video of the incident, the 18 month old’s father explains to a crewmember that the rules only require two year olds to wear mask, and this toddler wasn’t yet two. In the video the family appears to be wearing masks. According to one report the family offered to try to cover the small child’s face.

According to Frontier,

Multiple people, including several adults, were asked repeatedly to wear their masks and refused to do so..Based on the continued refusal to comply with the federal mask mandate, refusal to disembark the aircraft and aggression towards the flight crew, local law enforcement was engaged.

According to a passenger on the flight, others in the cabin “came to the defense of the family” and got “rowdy” over the family’s ejection, which led to the cancellation. However Frontier claims “the issue did not stem from a child under the age of two.” Of course those two statements are consistent, if the ‘issue’ was the reaction of other passengers to the insistence of a mask for an 18 month old.

Regardless, one person in the video can be heard shouting “this is Nazi Germany” which tells me that the passenger doesn’t understand what happened in Nazi Germany. Nazi doesn’t mean ‘things I do not like or think are fair.’

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, 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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  1. Masking an 18 month old is absurd, useless, and cruel. Society is doomed. There is ZERO science behind this hysteria.

  2. I have been Executive Platinum on AA for 18 years. As of tomorrow, March 2 I have gone a whole year without flying. I have learned I can drive for most business and pleasure. Because of this kind of drama by over zealous airline employees and the self empowered mask police I do not intend to fly till the mask mandate is lifted. But now that there is a Federal mask mandate and economy wrecker Fauci is saying it will be 2022 before people can go without mask; I realize it will be a long time before I can fly again.

  3. No idea what happened here, and hard to care much at this point when every flight I take is a crapshoot as to what some passengers will do and what some crew will or won’t enforce– but I do know the video above of the person defending the family shows an individual himself not wearing a mask and clearly breaking the mask law. Putting a bib on over your mouth and chin is not wearing a mask. I’m so sick of this, will not sit near anyone doing this, and would be happy to have anyone doing it ejected from any flight I am on. It is obvious that air and virus flow through one’s nose and mouth. Why do some people insist on pretending to wear a mask by keeping it under their nose, thus putting everyone around them at risk? As for a one and half year old child, obviously not breaking any rules if that is all to the story.

    The whole eating a drinking on planes thing is ridiculous though at this point, and I’ve seen it often used an excuse for extended masklessness. Don’t serve or allow any beverage consumption on any domestic flights period and a lot of arguments will be eliminated. Can people really not go a few house without pretzels or a Biscoff?

  4. Civil disobedience is going to start occurring more and more. People are fed up. Frankly if I could buy a ticket on a mask-less flight I would. And this coming from someone who was very pro-mask at the beginning of this.

  5. “doesn’t understand what happened in Nazi Germany”

    Many people do not understand how Nazi Germany became capable of doing a Holocaust.

    They didn’t rise to power and open concentration camps over night.

    First there was a public turning of opinion and singling out of Jews and other minorities. Publicly treating them differently than the dominant race.

    So, yes of course if you take the comment in the context of this is the same as the gas chambers, of course it’s ludicrous. But if you take it in the context of Nazi Germany in the 1920’s it has an entirely different meaning.

    (This is the same explanation for what Gina Carano had tweeted about and why basically no Jews who understood what she was saying were actually offended by her statement as anti-sematic. To give Nazi’s the possibility to exist, starts with hatred of people with opposing views. Such as firing them, which is the biggest irony of that whole incident.)

    I can’t say whether the flight attendants were being antiemetic or not, but if they were, this is what the man meant.

  6. I completely understand why the crew would not have felt comfortable operating the flight. However justified the discord amongst the passengers may have been (and, to your point, we don’t know the full story), once passengers won’t comply with instructions to sit down, start making accusations of anti-Semitism and compare the crew’s actions to Nazi Germany, there was reason for the crew to believe that the flight could not be operated safely.

  7. I am Jewish. Many members of the Hassidic community in Israel and in the U.S. have resisted wearing masks. I very much doubt that this flight was cancelled just because of one 18 month old. I believe the staff of the airline on this one.

    Why can’t people just follow the darn rules of flying no matter what political or religious group you are from?

  8. This sounds crazy if this all was over an 18mth old. Every other flight states 2yr old and older, HOWEVER if @flyfrontier wants to be so damn cautious, then they shouldn’t offer middle seat flying so that people wouldn’t be so close to one another if it’s supposed to be social distancing because having someone in a middle seat IS NOT 6ft.

  9. @ Jeff K. The video leaves no doubt as to why the flight was (justifiably) cancelled. Even if everyone else were wearing their masks properly, the reaction of the passengers gave reason for the crew to doubt whether the flight could be operated safely.

  10. This is why I can’t fly with my family right now. I’m not willing to get a lifetime ban, or derail a flight, because my very independent 3-year old doesn’t want a mask on his face for hours.

  11. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…When onboard announcements mention “masks” a dozen or more times before the aircraft even gets to cruising altitude, and “life vest” or “emergency exit” only once, priorities are seriously out of wack!!!! Give that some thought…

  12. I do like the free market solution in one of the previous comments – sell some flights as maskless, sell some as masked with middle seats occupied, and sell some as masked with middle seats blocked. People could then make intelligent decisions based on how much they were willing to pay or be inconvenienced for the risk mitigation.

  13. @over_it writes, “Civil disobedience is going to start occurring more and more.” As it should be. What has happened to society? People are complying to every mandate and are basically acting like cowards.

  14. I watched 2-3 of the videos circulating around. I have not seen any actual evidence in either direction. The one thing that is very interesting is that they were sending ONE couple and a child off the plane. If it was a “large group” that “refused to wear masks” why was only one couple being removed? And, mind you, it was clearly a very compliant type of couple. Especially if you know Yiddish, you hear how others were begging them to not just go off the plane without a valid explanation. And yet, they did go off. Observe their actions and it is clear as day, they were not the disobeying type.
    If you watch the full 10 minute clip, you see that the crowd got upset because this couple and their baby were being removed. The man then yells at everyone else to get off as well. And if you understand Yiddish; it is heard very clearly how they are all telling each other to get off along with that couple.
    I too am Jewish, and Orthodox and I don’t for one second believe that a “large group refused” to wear a mask after being repeatedly asked to do so. Yes; I did hear in one clip s/o saying that the kids took them off to eat. So perhaps it was not just this 18 month old. But I don’t believe any sane adult, let alone a “large group” of adults, would “refuse” to wear a mask on a plane in 2021!

  15. “Why does an 18 month old need to fly during a pandemic?”

    @Jeff, why does anyone need to fly during a pandemic? If the parents fly then the child flies, unless there’s backup care available at home during the entire trip which is not an option for many. I have not flown since the pandemic, but appreciate some parents with children may need or (gasp) want to.

  16. And now for the last paragraph- you have the gall to suggest that the individual there, clearly a Jew, does not understand what went on in Nazi Germany?! Some nerve! Every Jew knows quite well what went on. Perhaps it is you people who do not. Studies show that roughly two thirds of America youth have no clue what happened in the Holocaust! Don’t lecture us! My grandparents lost their entire families, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles. My grandfather lost a wife and 5 children. Due to ignorance just like yours! The Holocaust did not occur in a vacuum. Hitler needed a Joseph Goebbels as chief of “Propaganda” to poison the minds of German youth for years before they were able to go from one of most intellectual nations to depraved murderers they then became, sadistic animals. This took years of libel, years of racist policies- laws in fact! Yes; in Germany they were laws, discriminatory indeed, but “laws” nonetheless. Not to buy from a Jewish business, that Jews must wear a star on their clothing etc etc. All this led to the holocaust. And every sane Jew knows hate when they see it. And I see hate. If in fact what countless eyewitnesses (Jewish and non-Jewish) state occurred last night, then it is not far fetched at all to yell Nazi Germany.

  17. @ David. If the mask mandate was only being enforced against Jews, I’d fully understand and support your point. But it is not. For reasons that none of us know, this family was asked to leave the aircraft. Maybe it was because the 18 month was not wearing a mask, in which case, yes, this was ridiculous. But there is nothing I’ve seen that indicates that Orthodox and/or Hasidic Jews are being targeted more than any other group. What I have is that members of these communities are more resistant to wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings – and I understand the cultural reasons why. Now, all that said, the conduct of the other passengers was such that it gave the crew reason to doubt their ability to comply with instructions. I can understand why the crew came to that conclusion.

  18. Before they board the aircraft to which they’re assigned, some airline personnel, flight attendants in particular, apparently check whatever common sense they may have. Yes, at times they’re confronted with difficult situations caused by intransigent passengers. But sometimes FAs forget they’re not sworn law officers and exacerbate potentially unpleasant situations rather than diffuse them. Perhaps had these FAs remembered that “a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger” the resulting kerfuffle could have been avoided. I’ll bet they didn’t put themselves in the position of the parents or the other passengers, but remained steadfastly in regulation-enforcing mode.

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