Flight canceled due to mask argument

Flight canceled due to mask argument
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A Canadian WestJet flight from Calgary to Toronto was canceled and rescheduled after a dispute surrounding a child wearing a mask. 

Father Safwan Choudhry said WestJet wanted his 19-month-old to wear a mask, but she would not stop crying, BBC reported.

WestJet said the issue was not with the infant because she is below the required age to wear a mask. The problem arose when his three-year-old allegedly refused to wear one.


The airline's pandemic measures and policy standards mandate anyone over the age of two is required to wear a mask.

Choudhry claimed that WestJet was aggressive, adding that he asked if his daughter could finish her snack before putting on the mask, but was told by airline officials that there was a "zero-tolerance policy."

Choudhry agreed to put a mask on his three-year-old after she fussed, but said his youngest daughter was "hysterical" and had a difficult time complying with orders.

The Tuesday morning flight was canceled, and all passengers were told to disembark due to the child's alleged refusal.

In a statement provided to the BBC, WestJet disputed that Chouldry's eldest daughter put a mask on.

"Our crew requested the presence of the authorities after the guests refused to comply with Transport Canada's interim order and subsequently refused to deplane the aircraft," a statement from the airline said.


However, video taken by Choudhry shows his eldest daughter wearing a mask on the plane after police were called on board.

Footage showed police officers explaining that while the mask problem with the three-year-old was "resolved," "the behavior of the other passengers left the rest of the crew feeling unsafe."

One officer also confirmed the eldest daughter was wearing a mask when he arrived to the scene.

Choudhry said that while some passengers appeared irritated by the conflict on the plane, most were supportive of his family, as some passengers can be heard heckling police in the video.

Police did not file any charges, but Choudhry and his family are still in Calgary and have not been offered another flight to Toronto by the airline.