Twice-Banned Conservative Activist Back on Planes, Reignites Controversy With Political Stunt

Early in the pandemic David Harris, Jr. videotaped himself refusing to wear a mask on American Airlines and recommending viewers claim a medical exemption and handwaving about HIPAA, before major airlines eliminated medical exemptions (but were then required to bring them back by Biden administration mask mandates). He was banned from American Airlines.

Then he took to United Airlines in a promotional stunt for the MyPillow Guy, presumably joining a small and elite club of passengers banned by more than one airline just like racist Burger King.

But since mask refuseniks were generally allowed back on airlines once mask rules were dropped (as long as they didn’t have other violations), David Harris, Jr. is back. He’s wearing a “ballot” shirt where he selects the “convicted felon” over Joe Biden and shows himself seated while passengers boarding a plane file past him.

Frankly, he should be banned from an airline again having nothing whatsoever to do with his preferred candidate. He’s bringing politics into a metal tube that’s about to be sealed, trapping everyone – from different backgrounds and beliefs – inside. This can only serve to provoke. In fact, the reason for wearing the shirt is to provoke.

Airlines frequently enforce a dress code, and do so unevenly. The F-word on clothing is sometimes impermissible while other times the word gets a passenger kicked off the plane, and the airline says they were wrong to do so. And other times the standards for showing too much skin are enforced in unusual ways.

A simple ‘no politics’ rule would have been a great way to handle it when passengers projected “Trump 2020” onto the ceiling of an American Airlines flight to D.C. for January 6th. Instead, American stopped serving alcohol.

Right after the 2016 election, a United pilot announced that passengers had to leave politics off the plane and the whole cabin cheered.

I did not support Trump in 2016, or in 2020, and I do not support him today. However the ‘convicted felon’ notion is bizarre. A Stormy Daniels payoff could not have been a concealed campaign contribution, because it would not have been a legal use of campaign funds. Even if it was dual-purpose, intended both to hide embarrassment and to benefit his campaign, such expenses are usually considered personal. And having his attorney make the payment could not have been intended to avoid disclosure prior to the election, because the timing of the payment meant that it would not have been disclosed until after the election in any case. Surely the judge’s instructions on this issue, ultimately, constitute reversible error.

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. In your dreams, rassalas.

    Rassalas obviously doesn’t know that I was one of the most frequent US-Europe/Europe-US passengers in 2020 during the period when airports were ghost towns because Covid-19 had most people hunkering down domestically or restricted from traveling like usual. I was going about “let nature take its course” Sweden for a bunch of that period.

    Amusing effort to try to pigeon-hole me, but I ain’t a pigeon. 😉

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