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.”
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BREAKING: Trump ordered to pay over $350M, barred from operating his business in NY in civil fraud case ruling
Former President Donald Trump and his business empire faced a significant setback as a New York judge ruled against them in a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The 92-page ruling, handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron, barred Trump from operating his business in New York for three years and imposed over $350 million in damages.
The case, which unfolded over months of trial proceedings, stemmed from allegations that Trump inflated his assets and engaged in fraudulent practices. Engoron’s ruling cited a litany of charges, including persistent fraud, falsifying records, issuing false financial statements, and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Moreover, the judge imposed restrictions on key figures within the Trump Organization, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, barring them from serving in certain corporate roles in New York for a specified period.
Engoron’s scathing assessment of Trump’s testimony during the trial further undermined the former president’s credibility. The judge criticized Trump for evasive responses and irrelevant digressions, highlighting the detrimental effect on his credibility.
In response to the ruling, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, lambasted the court’s decision, alleging political bias and a disregard for established legal principles. Kise argued that the evidence presented during the trial failed to support the allegations of fraud and emphasized Trump’s substantial net worth.
Kise’s assertions were echoed by Alina Habba, another attorney representing Trump, who denounced the verdict as a “manifest injustice” resulting from a politically motivated witch hunt.
Throughout the proceedings, Trump consistently dismissed the trial as politically motivated, accusing both Engoron and James of partisan bias. His legal team also criticized the absence of a jury in the trial, questioning the fairness of the proceedings.
Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the lawsuit against Trump and his organization, portrayed the ruling as a victory for accountability and transparency in business practices. The lawsuit alleged fraudulent conduct and sought substantial financial penalties, a portion of which would contribute to the state treasury.
The fallout from the case extends beyond Trump and his business interests, with implications for the broader business community and the rule of law. The contentious nature of the trial and its outcome underscored deep divisions and raised questions about the integrity of the legal system.
Trump vows to appeal the decision.
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