American Airlines temporarily banned a passenger who they started flying on Wednesday after he refused to wear a mask.
Brandon Straka, a popular conservative activist, had just boarded a plane at LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday when controversy broke out over his lack of a mask. After speaking with several American Airlines staff, he is required to ask them to get off the plane. He was then, to hand them over on another American Airlines flight to Charlotte, then to Seattle.
American Airlines claims that Straka’s actions and statements were inconsistent throughout its journey.
“He took his LGA flight with face covers, but later withdrew,” an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox Business. “When our New York Guardia (LGA) team asked Mr. Straka if he had a medical condition, he replied that he did not have one. Later in his trip, he gave our team a different answer. In addition, he took his flight to Charlotte (CLT) with face covers, while later telling our CLT team that he had a medical condition which prevented him from wearing one. ”
GET FOX ENTERPRISE ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
Straka said he was initially just asked where his mask was, and not if he had a health problem.
It is clear American Airlines policy that passengers must wear masks. The airline said in late April press release that they “require all customers traveling to wear face cover (or mask) while on board the aircraft from May 11 . ” Then, earlier this week, the company tightened the policy and said they “now can also refuse a future trip for customers who refuse to wear face covers.”
Straka also said he was fed up with what he called conflicting messages from politicians on face masks and what is acceptable during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have to close our businesses. We have to give up our paychecks. We have to wear a mask. We said it is imperative for us to wear a mask at all times, we said it is imperative for us to stay at home, “Straka told FOX Business. “And then I watched these same politicians, these same media, encouraging the demonstrators by the thousands. ”
But Straka the stand not to win him all the allies on the flight. Astead Herndon, a New York Times reporter who was also on the flight, tweeted that the rest of the plane cheered when he left.
Herndon could not immediately be reached for comment.
American Airlines said they are temporarily banning Straka until face coverings are no longer required for customers.
“American Airlines completely reviewed the June 17 episode involving one of our customers, Brandon Straka,” the company said in a statement. “As a result of this review, Mr. Straka will not be allowed to fly from America, as he failed to comply with our policy and instructions from the crew.”
THE MAIN AIRLINES STOP THE SALE OF ALCOHOL DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIA
Despite the boondoggle, Straka told FOX Business that he has agreed with the principle that private companies have freedom of association and can refuse service to anyone they want.
“When they asked me to get off the plane, I didn’t have to throw a tantrum. I didn’t resist. He was not in a situation where the police had the strength to get me out of the plane, “Straka said. “I am fully respected that it was their right to apply, if that day they decided to implement this policy, I respected that.”
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS