A passenger has been kicked off an American Airlines flight for refusing to wear a face mask when boarding the plane, in violation of the new pandemic-triggered regulations.
Brandon Straka, who was travelling Wednesday from New York’s LaGuardia via Dallas to Tulsa, where a Trump rally was due to take place, complained about the incident on Twitter, fuming with reference to the airline’s guidelines: "1st time this has happened. Not a federal law".
“@AmericanAir staff standing over me telling me it’s THE LAW. So much for ‘please respect those who can not wear a mask’. When I pointed out this wasn’t a law I was removed", he went on in his tweet.
I was just removed from my flight for not wearing a mask. 1st time this has happened. Not a federal law. @AmericanAir staff standing over me telling me it’s THE LAW. So much for “please respect those who can not wear a mask”. When I pointed out this wasn’t a law I was removed.— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) June 17, 2020
He further noted that the entire episode was filmed saying that after his removal, the flight manager acknowledged they had made a mistake.
Recording a video on Periscope with the details of the incident, the man, who calls himself a "former liberal", complained that nobody asked him on the plane if he had a condition that would allow him not to wear a mask, in tune with the airline's policy. American Airlines staff apologised to him for not asking him that while on the flight, he added.
"This is insane, absolutely insane. We don’t even have a choice anymore. It’s not the law, as you know, it’s not the law", Straka reiterated in response.
"He just got off the plane and ppl applauded lmaooo", Astead W Herndon, a journalist at The New York Times, said in a video after Straka was removed.
Herndon added that the flight was heading to Tulsa, via Dallas, with American Airlines also confirming the route and Straka’s removal from the Dallas flight.
The airline went on to note that Straka promised their airport team members to comply with their rule, prompted by the sweeping coronavirus pandemic, and was rebooked on a later flight.
A day earlier, on Monday, Straka took to Twitter boastfully writing he "got confirmation of my tix to the Tulsa Trump rally".
"I am giddy as a damn school girl!!! This is going to be EHHHHPIC!!!I’m going to arrive early to do interviews & hug EVERY. DAMN. ONE. OF. YOU", he posted.