Mother, 2-year-old removed from flight because child wouldn’t wear mask

Greg Nash

A mother said she and her 2-year-old son were removed from an American Airlines flight last week because the child refused to wear a mask.

Rachel Davis said in an Instagram post that she and her son were removed from their Thursday flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Manchester, N.H. 

“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,” she said in her post. 

Davis told ABC News that she was on a work trip in Florida when Hurricane Sally hit. She said she attempted to get out before, but their flight had been canceled.

On Thursday, she said a flight attendant asked how old her son was before saying he had to wear a mask, even though he wasn’t asked to during three previous American Airlines flights that week. Davis was told if he wouldn’t wear the mask, they would have to leave the flight.

The mother said all of the passengers were told to deplane and reboarded without Davis and her son.

“I don’t know what you want me to do to keep the mask on him,” Davis said at the gate in a video obtained by ABC News. “What do you want me to do — duct tape his face? He’s 2 years old, he doesn’t get it!”

American Airlines said in a statement that it mandates all people 2 years and older “to wear an appropriate face covering throughout the entirety of their journey.”

“Policies are enforced and approved face coverings are made available at key points throughout the customer journey,” the statement said. “We’ve reached out to the family to learn more about their recent travel experience and to address their concerns.”

All U.S. airlines mandate that those older than 2 years old have to wear a mask while aboard planes. But the policy has received backlash after several parents have been removed from flights when their small children would not wear a mask.

In August, a mom and her six children were kicked off a JetBlue flight after her 2-year-old daughter would not wear a mask. A Southwest Airlines flight removed a woman and her 2-year-old son after he was not wearing a mask to have a snack. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say “children 2 years of age and older should wear a mask” when in public and when “around people they don’t live with.”

–Updated on Sept. 22 at 11:30 a.m.

Tags airplanes American Airlines Coronavirus COVID-19 face masks flights mask mandate Masks Pandemic planes travel
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