A disgruntled passenger was deported from a Spirit Airlines flight to Florida from New York for refusing to wear a face mask, authorities said.
A tense confrontation between an unidentified man and a Port Authority police officer resulted in an arrest at LaGuardia Airport in Queens on Friday.
The flight attendants alleged that the man was disruptive and the authorities were called to intervene.
The footage shows the man already sitting on his flight to Fort Lauderdale as he quarrels with a police officer over the covers.
Face masks on flights have become commonplace in America as the coronavirus pandemic continues with significant peaks in the southern United States.
“The entire plane is a witness. I did not do anything! said the man to the port authority officer. “Tell me why I don’t fly.
Unidentified man (left) on Spirit Airlines flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida was evicted on Friday for failing to wear a face mask
Although much of the officer’s speech is muffled by his face mask, he can be heard telling the man that he is being asked to put on a mask.
The man is accused of “putting himself in front of someone a bit”, but he vehemently denies it.
“Did I get in front of someone? I didn’t get in front of anyone, “said the man. “I’m sitting here waiting for you to come. “
As the two men continue to argue, the man reveals that he is traveling to see his father who has had a stroke.
Man (left) argued with a Port Authority police officer (right) that he was traveling to see his sick father in Florida and should stay on the flight
“I ask you, what would you like me to do?” Asked the officer.
“I would like to stay on the flight,” replied the man.
The officer said to the man, “I can’t force them to let you stay on the flight,” and continues to request that the man be masked or kidnapped.
Meanwhile, several passengers watching the exchange intervened on behalf of the man and asked him to stay on the flight.
“Let this man fly. Why can’t he go home? Said a passenger.
The video ends with the man refusing to leave the flight, but additional footage appears to show the man arrested by Port Authority officers.
Mobile phone images appear to show man (center) arrested by Port Authority officers after being removed from flight
Spirit Airlines issued a statement after the incident was shared on social media and began to attract attention.
“Spirit Airlines asked the police to intervene after a man boarded flight NK197 from LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale, removed his face and refused to hand it over,” the statement said.
“In the end, the man chose to land on his own instead of risking legal consequences.
‘Spirit will always exercise care with regard to the health and safety of our customers. Wearing a face cover is simple, easy and essential for Spirit and the airline industry as a whole. “
Spirit Airlines, like other major airlines, updated its security requirements for airline passengers in May due to a virus that almost shut down the industry.
“All guests will be required to wear appropriate masks or masks on the nose and mouth to better align with CDC recommendations for fabric masks in public places,” the company said in a press release. .
Spirit Airlines has also implemented high-level fogging treatments to thoroughly clean aircraft and high-efficiency particulate air filters.
The focus on aircraft cleanliness came when several outbreaks of coronavirus cases struck several southern states, including Florida.
In June, infections in Florida increased by 168%, or more than 95,000 new cases. The percentage of positive tests soared to 15% against 4% at the end of May.
This means that Florida, home to 21 million people, has reported more new cases of coronavirus per day than any European country at the height of their outbreaks.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has named Florida one of 16 states where residents will be asked to quarantine themselves if they go to the Big Apple.
Quarantine applies to anyone arriving from a State with a positive test rate greater than 10 per 100,000 inhabitants on a seven-day moving average or from a State with a positivity rate of 10% or more on an average seven day mobile.
“As more and more states in the country are battling a large spread of the community, New York is taking steps to maintain the precarious security of its gradual, data-driven reopening,” Cuomo said in a statement.
To identify people traveling to New York from these states, the state health department is asking airlines to distribute a questionnaire to passengers once they are on their flights.