The airline staff forced all passengers to deplane after the toddler refused to wear the mask.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the implementation of some strict guidelines. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing are important precautionary methods. However, it becomes difficult for small children and parents. One mother was kicked out of an aircraft after her two-year-old refused to wear a mask.
According to ABC News, Rachel Davis took to Instagram to narrate the unfortunate incident. She stated that she was on a work trip in Florida when the state was hit by Hurricane Sally. With unfavorable weather conditions, the mother decided to go back home to Manchester, New Hampshire.
Though they tried leaving early, their flights got canceled. "We tried to get out earlier but they canceled our flight. The eye of the storm went right over us early Wednesday morning and we lost power where we were staying," said the mother to ABC News. Fortunately, they got another flight.
However, that journey did not go as expected. Soon after the mother and the son boarded the American Airlines flight, the flight attendant told the mother that they would have to leave the aircraft if her son does not wear a mask. The tired mother tried to do everything she could to force her child to keep wearing the mask. But her efforts were all in vain. "I tried repeatedly, begged him, bribed him, pleaded with him, did everything I could while he was screaming and crying as I tried to hold him and put the mask on, feeling my absolute lowest of lows as a mother," wrote the mother on Instagram.
In the end, the mother could not convince her little boy to wear the mask. As a result, the airline staff forced all passengers including Davis and her son to deplane. A video captured by fellow passenger Taylor Cournoyer showed Davis pleading to the staff in front of the crew and other passengers. The helpless mother told them she did not know of another way to get her son to wear the mask.
"I don't know what you want me to do to keep the mask on him. What do you want me to do -- duct tape his face? He's 2 years old, he doesn't get it!" said the mother tearfully. Co-passengers supported Davis who clearly could not do more.
"What do you want me to do—duct tape his face? He's 2 years old, he doesn't get it!" https://t.co/6kPlesA6gp— ABC News (@ABC) September 21, 2020
"It was very cold and cruel. This wasn't an issue of a grown adult not complying out of spite because they don't agree with masks -- this was a child. And it was not a bad, irresponsible mom either -- she was crying and trying to keep the mask on and asking the flight attendants for help and advice on what to do," said Cournoyer, according to ABC News.
Soon after, other passengers re-boarded the flight while the mother and son were left behind. According to video shot by Cournoyer, the pilot made an overhead announcement on board that stated, "hate to talk like this but once we get going if there are any problems, if you guys give them any problems at all about the decisions that I have made we will turn the flight around and we will come back."
Having witnessed how the events played one after another, Cournoyer stated, "The whole situation was an example of how we as a society have forgotten to treat each other with kindness and compassion. The crew and staff were acting like authoritative dictators."
The US. airline's rules that require any child of 2 or above to wear masks have come under scrutiny many such incidents were reported. Humiliated and distraught by the incident, Davis is doing her part to motivate the authorities to change the policy. She has started a petition for airlines to raise the minimum mask-wearing age. Her post received more than 200,000 likes in a matter of days. "I don’t want any other mother to feel this way," said the concerned mother.
Meanwhile, Davis and her son flew back home in another American Airlines flight. She claimed that the pilot of the aircraft profusely apologized. Additionally, the airlines released a statement that claimed they would look into the recent event.
Local mom says she was kicked off an American Airlines flight because her toddler wouldn’t wear a mask https://t.co/Wo8bgjjsz2— Boston 25 News (@boston25) September 22, 2020
"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 travel 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."