Southwest Airlines Kicks UFC Star Off Flight When His 2 Year Old Wouldn’t Mask

Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt was kicked off of a Southwest Airlines flight on Thursday along with his two year old son who wouldn’t wear a mask.

He wrote on Instagram, “F[…] @southwestair got kicked off because my 2 year old son wouldn’t put his mask over his face. This coward flight attendant hid his bitch a[..] in the bathroom.” Although if I were a cabin crew going toe-to-toe with an unhappy UFC fighter I’d like to think I’d stand tall, but..

He didn’t think it was fair that his two year old child had to wear a mask when Southwest’s pilots weren’t masked. Indeed, pilots are not required to wear masks while in the cockpit, though they’re required to do so while traveling through the airport, in the gate area, and while boarding the aircraft.

Cody Garbrandt is a coronavirus long hauler with symptoms that lasted months after he tested positive. That kept him from challenging Deiveson Figueiredo, who himself had tested positive for Covid-19, for Figueiredo’s title.

Southwest blames the incident on ‘federal law’ (it’s actually a regulation, though legislation has been introduced to make it a law).

We regret this family experienced any inconvenience during their travel. However, federal law requires Southwest to ensure every person age 2 and over to wear a mask at all times throughout a flight, including during boarding and deplaning. In this situation, the customers opted not to fly on Southwest, and they were offered a full refund of their tickets.

It’s true that masking is a now federal requirement for two year olds on planes. However Southwest was kicking maskless two- and three-year olds off planes long before there was a federal requirement in place.

(HT: Paul H.)

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. What is UFC and what is this person’s relevance? How is this article representative of “thought leadership in travel?”

  2. Maybe these airlines can start providing choroform or roofies to use on these small children so they keep their masks on. Or maybe some restraints or even rope or twine so the cab just be bound and gagged.

    Luckily my children are well passed this age or I wouldn’t even try flying.

  3. Why is this news? Are you going to write about anytime a so-called celebrity (UFC, really?) is caught without seat belts on the way to the airport?

    It’s called law and order.

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