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. BS. my 2 yr old newphew needs to be watched like a hawk. But him and his sister LISTEN to their parents. She is ms independent. When told to stop they stop when told to keep the mask on they do. I was with him at an Ikea store and they required masks for him and he wore it. I heard about young kids meeting those that had covid and bringing it home to infants and parents. So they do carry. We listen to are parents growing up and it these kids do not then They DO NOT FLY


  3. I think AA crew are doing the best they can do. Imagine being one of them following the rules of CDC and also AA management and knowing 8100 employees or more will not be able to earn a leaving starting October 2nd because of layoffs at most airlines. This flight probably was at capacity of people fleeing the hurricane in Florida. A disclaimer I do not work for the airlines

  4. Don’t make excuses to force employees to break rules. There are great freeways up and down the eastern seaboard for those who can’t get their two year olds to follow rules. I had a couple two year olds seven years ago and never asked that they be exempted from rules. How entitled

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