Videos of passengers being removed from airplanes over face mask squabbles have become increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, it’s the passenger who refuses to wear a mask, but a new video of an Allegiant Airlines flight attendant allegedly removing a passenger from the flight after he asked her to wear a mask bucks that trend.
The man was removed from his Monday morning flight to Punta Gorda, Florida, Newsweek reports. In a viral video uploaded to Twitter (which has since been deleted and reshared by the New York Post), the flight attendant—who is seen wearing a mask—tells the man, “Either you come off or I get the law enforcement.”
“This is ridiculous,” one passenger protests, as another says, “This is not right.”
The man, whom the flight attendant refers to as Mr. Peterman, asks the flight attendant if he can speak to the captain before exiting the plane.
“I’m sorry, no sir,” the flight attendant responds.
The man clamors for the captain’s attention anyway, saying, “Captain, captain, can I have a word before I get kicked off?” as he walks down the aisle. “I just asked somebody to put on their face mask. That’s all I did.”
“Mr. Peterman!” the flight attendant snaps. “You are not allowed, no. No, go.”
A representative for Allegiant told the New York Post that the “passenger became disruptive during the pre-flight safety briefing. Following the announcement, the passenger persisted in making threatening statements to the flight attendant, to the point of harassment.”
The representative also said that “interfering with a crew member is a violation of FAA regulations.” (Allegiant did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.)
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Allegiant additionally told Newsweek that “the flight attendant giving the safety briefing lowered their mask for speaking into the PA so the briefing could be understood," at which point the passenger became "disruptive."
According to Allegiant’s website, "All crew members are required to wear a face covering at all times and gloves during inflight service,” and “all customers are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times when traveling.”
That has not stopped Allegiant from receiving complaints regarding flight attendants not wearing face masks. Last week, Twitter user @jesscacaroline tweeted a photo from her Allegiant flight of an attendant talking to another passenger with her mask below her nose, writing, “[email protected] how am I supposed to feel safe flying when my chatty Kathy flight attendant isn’t even wearing her mask properly and keeps taking it off?!?”
Another Allegiant passenger recently questioned the airline’s first-place score for COVID-19 traveler safety in a Travel Pulse article, sharing a photo of another flight attendant wearing her mask below her nose for much of the flight.