Woman Melts Down When American Airlines Kicks Her Two Year Old Off For Not Wearing A Mask

Rachel Starr Davis was fleeing a hurricane in Florida last week, connecting to American Airlines flight 5595 from Charlotte to Manchester, New Hampshire. Before pushback a flight attendant approached her and asked how old her son is.

The two year old boy wouldn’t wear a mask, despite in his mother’s words ‘begging, bribing, pleading’ but he screamed and cried as she “tried to hold him and put the mask on.”

It’s hard to imagine how the mother felt as she tried to get her two year old to wear a mask. She’d flown three other segments with the child within a week, and no other flight attendants had worried about a two year old wearing a mask. It is American Airlines policy, though not all airlines require children that young to wear them. Delta doesn’t, for instance.

The captain decided that the passengers would have to be removed. Instead of escorting the woman and her screaming child off, they offloaded the entire aircraft. Here’s the woman in the gate area, after getting off the flight (sound on):

The airline, for its part, says,

To ensure the safety of our customers and team, American Airlines requires all persons 2 years and older to wear an appropriate face covering throughout the entirety of their journey. Policies are enforced and approved face coverings are made available at key points throughout the customer journey. We’ve reached out to the family to learn more about their recent travel experience and to address their concerns.

While children can both get and spread the virus, the balance of available evidence suggests that very young children do not spread the virus nearly as frequently as older children or adults. Maskless two year olds do not make Delta a less safe airline than American, Southwest, United and JetBlue who all require two year olds to wear masks whether they’re capable of doing so or not.

It’s not clear, of course, how the airline thought things would unfold differently on the flight they rebooked the passengers onto – except of course that more often than not cabin crew seem to ignore the requirement for two year olds (and sometimes 20 and 30 year olds) and so they rolled the dice.

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. This is very disappointing by American. Putting aside whether requiring 2 year-old children to wear masks is an appropriate rule, this is a situation that cries out for discretion. The mother tried (repeatedly, it appears) to get her kid to wear the mask. She wasn’t flouting the rules. As anyone who has had a toddler knows, it is almost impossible to reason with a 2 year-old who is melting down. Her child presents only a minimal risk without a mask. Let them fly.

  2. Another snowflake that thinks the rules don’t apply to them.
    Surprised she didnt try and play the race card with the child.

  3. It’s a tough situation but AA is dealing with an inconsistent application of the rules by its staff and partner staff. 3 or 4 flights sets an expectation.

    The gate agent should be the enforcer and AA should make that clear.

    I don’t condone the way she spoke to the agents.

  4. I would have a lot more sympathy for this woman if she was properly wearing her mask while she was projecting her spit all over this AA employee. She is breaking the law in this video (masks are required in NC) and endangering the agent. I feel terrible for the child and I feel terrible for this AA employee she is screaming at whom did not make the rules. I would have also felt terrible for her if I had just read this article and not watched the video.

  5. LOL if anyone thinks 2 year-olds will comply with rules and regulations they are bananas. This is officially a circus. Before commenting about how children are the worst just remember that you too were once a child. It’s super annoying to listen to people complain about the existence or presence of children. Children can travel just like the rest of us.

  6. Only childless individuals could possibly think you can force a 2yo to wear a mask. I also thought Mom was fairly restrained. My ex would have caused bodily harm in this situation.

  7. @replace ginsbag
    Interesting, your name suggests you are another ignorant trump supporter and yet you say the 2 year old should wear a mask when the orange monkey does not
    You are a unicorn

  8. She says what do you want me to do several times… well, move on to another airline that allows children that age and younger to board without a mask… delta.. sorry lady but he better get use to wearing one whether he likes it or not… we’re gonna be doing this a long time and no one wants to deal with this crap on plane. Abide by the rules or don’t fly

  9. So sick of this BS. It is so irrational to think that a child under the age of 4-5 could handle such an invasion on their face. Its Not natural Or normal. Only dumbasses make up stupid rules like this. Considering the science states children less likely to be transmitters and in the low catagory of numbers of getting it. I would have lied about his age…ijs.

  10. The airlines (all of them) have been very clear, EVERYONE WEARS A MASK OVER TWO . . . No exceptions. If her child won’t wear it, then they shouldn’t have tried to fly. Don’t demonize the airlines or health officials who are trying to keep people safe. I am tired of the “those rules don’t apply to me” crying on social media. The rules are the rules and these are life and death rule, not rules because we feel like it.

    Good for you, AA and all who are forcing the issue and doing what’s right. Time for these people to shut up and care about someone other than themselves.

    Mask Up, Safe Lives.

  11. Yes ginsbag read the story correctly before making idiotic comments These sort of comments incite racial divide and are disgraceful

  12. This is ridiculous when you consider the fact that their CEO goes out to dinner with a competitor’s flight attendant and neither of them wore masks within 6 feet of each other.

  13. Wait a second, so they let her on the flight to CLT, then booted her there? Far from home and far from her final destination? Sounds like they offered her seats on a different flight, which she correctly points out they would probably boot her from as well.
    She’s right, what is she supposed to do?

  14. American Airlines should offer sedation to kids who do not want to wear mask
    Then cover the kids mouth
    All airlines are going too far with this requirement for small kids. I hope the rule changes soon as these types of situations will continue.

    Remember airlines a 2 year old is not the same as an adult.

  15. If you watch the video, few of the boarding passengers are following “safe distance” boarding. Shouldn’t AA be enforcing the six ft rule as you board, like any other business in America?

  16. “While children can both get and spread the virus, the balance of available evidence suggests that very young children do not spread the virus nearly as frequently as older children or adults. ”

    What evidence is that? Extensive, detailed interviews of two-year-olds?

  17. According to American policy. It states that anyone 2 years old and younger doesn’t need to wear a mask. Not sure what the argument is ?

  18. I quote from a email I just got for booking a flight.

    We charged $—– to card ending in —- for your ticket purchase.
    A face covering is required while flying on American, except for children 2 years old or younger. You are also required to wear a face covering while in the airport before and after your flight. Read more about travel requirements.
    You’ll need your record locator to find your trip at the kiosk and when you call Reservations.

    This implies a two years old child doesn’t need to wear a mask till he is three.

  19. I don’t understand why the parents aren’t lying about the kids age ? I mean it’s just the smartest thing to do right now .

  20. There are plenty of disciplined 2 year old that wear and keep their masks on. These issues are usually the do what you want spoiled children that act this way. Most of you callnit allowing a child to express themselves. That’s fine but this is a business and this virus is real.

  21. Outrageous! Similarly, I was travelling with my 2 year old once and they insisted she wear a seat belt, despite the fact that the balance of available information indicates that very young children hardly ever are saved by seatbelts. Do you know how hard it is to insist a young child wear their seatbelt, when we don’t bother to wear them at any other time?


  22. Notice to airline employees. You can’t be nice. Just enforce the rules. You see she quickly threw the other employees under the bus for not enforcing the rules likely costing them their jobs once it’s researched. This is no time to lose your job over some entitled princess. You can bet she would not give you a dime on your go fund me page once you lost your job because of her complaining. Let top management handle the complaint. Just enforce the rules Period.

  23. The kid had no business being on the plane.
    “Cover your face – your a big disgrace – spreading your germs all over the place.”

    Well done AA 🙂

  24. It’s a tough situation for both sides. AA has a policy they think provides the safest environment for everyone on the plane (customers and employees). On the flip side 2 year olds are 2 year olds. Some can wear a mask and other flip their sh$t when told to wear one.

    Unfortunately for parents of kids that age if they can’t wear the mask they need to look for other options. The only way airlines can ensure compliance with the mask policy is to be 100% strict. If not there will be people expecting exemptions on EVERY flight.

    Parents need to look at options that fit their needs that work with their children. In this case with Delta or driving a car was the way to.

  25. @Wes

    Not everything is about race.

    AA clearly posts that everyone 2yr and older must wear a mask. If your child cannot wear one then they are not fit for travel.

    The mother wasn’t wearing mask in video while she was shouting – not a good example.

  26. Cute baby. Mama knew baby boy was not fond of wearing a mask before she embarked on this trip. Some people always think rules don’t apply to them. And contrary to what another commenter posted, babies over age 2 carry a greater concentration of virus in their noses. She should’ve arranged other travel plans, including driving or bus. The baby is in no way at fault, but as cute as the kid is, he’s not so adorable to where I’d be willing to take a chance on contracting this horrible virus that could cost me my life. And this selfish mother should be ashamed of herself for wanting to have her way at the expense of others. 200,000 dead Americans today. No thank you.

  27. I don’t think anyone outside the travel industry realizes Delta’s rules are different, and they don’t heavily publicize this and the media does not publicize it even when covering these mask stories.

  28. Given it is mandated to wear a mask at the airport, what is that ignorant woman doing shouting spreading her germs even further that 6ft. Whatever happened on the plane rightly or wrongly, it doesn’t give her the right to risk other peoples health. She lost any sympathy the moment she felt it was ok to scream her possible germs everywhere.

    Everyone caught not wearing a mask where required should be arrested, and kept for 14 days. If they subsequently are shown to have Covid then they should be charged with attempted murder. We are being too soft on these people.

  29. If what Sheina posted is accurate then there is a problem. The statement “A face covering is required while flying on American, except for children 2 years old or younger” is not in alignment with the statement “Only children under the age of 2 are exempt from American’s face covering policy.” Can anyone else confirm what American Airlines sends in an email after you have purchased a ticket?

  30. When making a booking online, the website says ‘except for children under 2’

    Where am I looking for the other statement about ‘2 years old or younger’?

  31. Simple solution, at that age the woman should have simply said the child was 22 months thus under the 2 years old limit. Children don’t have ID’s so the flight attendant would just accept that.

  32. You spank them hard if they won’t pay attention. This kid has obviously never had a good spanking & rules the parents. I know I would have gotten a real hard spanking over this. Not enough kids get this now a days.

  33. Mark my words this jid will grow up to a criminal because his parents and the rest of you morons think tne rules dont apply to a bratty 2 year. He is going to grow up believing that he can get wants if he behaves poorly. So when he decides he wants what you have he will take because the rules dont apply to him. Amazes me of how many of you all feel self entitled. Poor parenting from your parents. Abide by the rules if you don’t like them then choose a different business that has the same lack of values you have. Don’t endanger life of others it’s not only about you dumbasses!!!

  34. She could easily have taken a private room on Amtrak from Charlotte to Boston, no mask needed in the roomette. Lots of stuff to watch for out the window. Place to sleep & relax.

  35. @simon
    Your stupid words can not be marked
    I assume you do not have children, and calling a 2 year old a bratt shows how stupid you are

  36. America airlines: what a way to ruin an experience for your passengers, despite the discrimination. Studies clearly show/prove an adult is more likely to catch/spread the virus, not a 2yr old, who clearly had no symptoms of the virus, on a 2hr flight.

    Simon: You’re an ignorant imbecile. I’m asking the universe to curse someone very close to u for your inhumanity. What a simple minded thing to say ab a 2yr old. If he does become possessed by society, it would be bc of fucked up ppl like YOU, not bc he refused to wear a mask!

    We’re all fed up with this way of life. No need to down talk a 2yr old. U feel better now, nimwit?! Lol smh

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