Police Meet Flight After Passenger And Flight Attendant Can’t Agree On What A “Mask” Is

A passenger and flight attendant on Spirit Airlines got into an argument over whether the passenger’s mask constituted a ‘mask’. The flight attendant offered the passenger a ‘real mask’- instead of an American flag gaiter – which they refused to wear. Police were contacted to meet the plane.

The most 2020 thing ever is a debate over what the word ‘mask’ means on a commercial aircraft. The passenger says he’s wearing a mask, while the flight attendant digs in that “the cloth around his nose and mouth is not ‘legally’ a mask.

“Legal by who?” the man asks, flipping the camera around to show himself wearing a neck gaiter printed with an American flag.

“It is not legal according to the CDC,” the attendant says in a video posted to Twitter.

The passenger then asks the attendant to “show me those rules” to which the attendant replies that he is not required to.

“Well I don’t have to wear the mask that you gave me,” the passenger says, implying that the airline provided him with a face mask that met its standards. “I’m wearing the mask that I have.”

The man says he’s flown 20 times with what he considers a mask and this is the first time anyone has questioned it.

Whether or not the passenger’s mask was a ‘mask’ they’re winning this on the actual arguments being deployed. The crewmember is right under Spirit Airlines policy, but can’t actually explain why. Still the flight attendant is ultimately winning by turning the debate into a law enforcement problem.

According to Spirit Airlines,

Our flight attendants asked this Guest to double up his American flag gaiter as required by our policy, and in line with CDC guidelines for dual-layered face coverings that hug the chin closely. He would have been welcome to keep wearing it like that, but he refused to follow the rules.

…Our flight attendants asked the Guest in this video to double up his gaiter. When he refused, they offered him an alternative face covering, and he refused that option too.

Spirit Airlines does allow gaiters but requires that whatever is used to satisfy their mask requirement “fit snugly cover the nose and mouth and be secure under the chin and have at least two layers of fabric.”

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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  1. What the guy should have done to test them out would have been to say “sure, I will wear the face mask that you provide, BUT I will wear the gaiter over the mask. Ya gotta problem with that?’

  2. But social distancing of 6′ is ignored. Even if the middle seats were vacant you can’t achieve that. So why don’t the airlines remove seats take out rows like restaurants do? You sit in a restaurant for an hour, planes im guessing average at leat double that. Its all about the $$$$$$. The professional soda pourers, commonly known as flight attendants have always been on power trips. They know if they threaten someone the police will always back them up right or wrong. I agree if it was just about the flag, he should have taken the mask, and out his over it.

  3. Power tripping attendant with his finger pointing and his head wobbling to the tune of his own ridiculous ego BS. His own mask falls of his nose while he is power tripping. If the guidelines are to have the chin covered then the bandana does the job.

  4. I think the flight attendant had a problem with his mask being the design of the American Flag, probably thought he was a Trump supporter. His face and nose completely covered as well as most of his jaw. Better coverage than the mask he wanted him to wear. Power trip on part of attendant

  5. The first comment by Reynaldo g Martinez shows the abject stupidity of most people who think they know anything…
    First of all driving has been upheld in court as a fundamental right. Similarly, so is flying, as in order for some to be able to have their daily livelihood they depend on driving and flying… no longer a privileged knucklehead they are rights to the people… go educate yourself.
    Finally, that flight attendant would’ve never taken that attitude were it me. I would’ve shut him down immediately what an idiot.
    Law-enforcement is equally stupid for automatically assuming everything that one of these dumb ass flight attendants says is gospel, these people are control freaks so is everyone that’s demanding masks…by the way they do absolutely nothing to prevent the disease go look at the real information on masks and then find out what’s really going on.
    Sheeple. No that’s wrong… at least sheep know the sound of their shepherd more like dumb cattle.

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