Spirit Airlines is defending its decision to deplane a flight after a Jewish couple and their two children were thrown off a flight because their two-year-old was not wearing a mask while eating on her pregnant mother’s lap.
Spirit requires passengers to wear masks with the exception of children two-years-old and under.
The flight from Orlando, Florida, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, was ultimately delayed more than two hours on Monday after passengers were forced to get off the plane before eventually being allowed back on.
In a viral video shared to Twitter, a flight attendant is seen telling the Jewish family that they needed to “take their stuff” and exit the plane for “non-compliance with the mask policy” while the two-year-old is eating yogurt on her mother’s lap.
“The baby?” The pregnant mother replied.
A woman seated across from the family pointed out that many of the children on the fight were not wearing masks.
“She’s a baby. She just turned 2 a month ago. She’s been trying to wear it,” the mother explained to the attendant.
The parents are heard telling the attendant that their other child is special needs and has seizures.
“We’re done talking. The pilot wants you off, so you have to get off,” the flight attendant said.
The attendant then threatened to call the police before walking away.
In a separate clip, the father said he heard from another passenger that they were planning to remove them from the flight before they even boarded.
“A lady over here heard someone on the phone before we even got on the plane that they were planning this,” he said.
“The captain was okay with it, the entire plane was okay with it but there was one African American that was not okay with it,” he added.
A statement released on Twitter by Spirit Airlines claims “incorrect information” is circulating about the incident.
“We’re aware of incorrect information circulating about Spirit Airlines flight 138 from Orlando to Atlantic City. The flight was delayed due to compliance issues with the federal mask requirement. We allowed our Guests to continue on their flight to the destination after assurances of compliance. The safety of our Guests and Team Members is our top priority,” the airline said.
Moreover, Spirit told Business Insider that they asked the family to exit the plane because the parents were not complying with mask mandates, which the company said was not captured on video.
Additionally, the Orlando police confirmed to Newsweek that they were called by Spirit team members.
“Just before noon today, our officers were called to a general disturbance involving a Spirit Airlines flight scheduled to depart from the Orlando International Airport,” a police spokesperson told Newsweek. “Upon arrival, officers saw that the flight was in the middle of de-boarding. Our officers stood by while Spirit Airlines resolved the issue.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Late Friday a New York City resident also tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, and is the state’s first confirmed case. On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first public statements about the outbreaks, saying the recent spread of monkeypox in at least 12 countries are “something that everybody should be concerned about.”
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BREAKING: Florida reports first presumptive Monkeypox case.
Case is in Broward County and related to international travel.
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