This Family Got Kicked Off a Flight When Their 2-Year-Old Wouldn't Wear a Mask
A viral video shows a family being kicked off of a United flight because their 2-year-old wouldn't wear a mask.
Wearing face coverings has been a universal COVID safety measure since the spring, but one group has been exempt from mask-wearing mandates: children under the age of 2. That's why there's been such a strong reaction to a video that one mom, Eliz Orban, posted on her social media that details her family being kicked off of a United Airlines flight because their 2-year-old daughter refused to wear a face mask.
Though Orban has since made her Instagram account private—and seems to have deleted the video—it remains on Twitter, where she posted about how she, her husband, and their 2-year-old daughter, boarded a United flight from Denver, Colorado, to New Jersey's Newark International Airport on Dec. 11 to visit family, but were kicked off by a flight attendant because of their toddler's "non-compliance" in regards to her face mask.
"We just got kicked off the flight because our 2-year-old would not put on a mask, and we tried," Orban said in the video through tears. She claimed they were "banned off of United forever because a 2-year-old would not put on a mask." Read on to hear more of Orban's experience, and to see how the outbreak in your area is looking, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
Read the original article on Best Life.
Orban's husband tried to cover their daughter's face with a gaiter when she wouldn't wear a mask.
Orban recorded the incident while on board the flight, beginning with her husband telling their daughter, "Come here, you have to put this on," in Hungarian, as the toddler covered her mouth with her hands. Seemingly, Orban's husband put on a paper mask and gave his daughter his gaiter, which he held over her face. But the crew members said it was insufficient. "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to grab your belongings and exit the aircraft," the flight attendant told Orban's husband.
Orban's husband asked if they "do this all the time," and the crew member replied, "If there's non-compliance, yes."
"I'm literally holding it over my daughter's face," he said. "This is compliance right here." At that point, Orban chimed in. "We can't force her," she said. "She's literally holding it, and she's crying."
The crew member didn't budge, and the Orban family exited the plane.
In a moment not caught on video, Orban said a flight attendant asked them as they boarded the plane how old their daughter was, the mom added in an appearance on Fox and Friends Weekend Sunday morning. Upon learning she was 2, the crew member said she would have to wear a mask, providing the family with a paper one. And for more on the latest face-covering news, check out The FDA Just Issued a Warning Against This Kind of Face Mask.
United defended their mask policy.
The United Airlines website states that the airline requires "all customers over the age of 2 and employees to wear a face covering on board."
In a statement to Best Life, a United spokesperson said: "The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have a multi-layered set of policies, including mandating that everyone onboard 2 and older wears a mask. These procedures are not only backed by guidance from the CDC and our partners at the Cleveland Clinic, but they're also consistent across every major airline."
As the United statement points out, the CDC's website reads: "Children 2 years of age and older should wear a mask." However, the agency "recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. Correct and consistent use of masks may be challenging for some children, such as children with certain disabilities, including cognitive, intellectual, developmental, sensory and behavioral disorders." And for more on age restrictions and COVID, check out You Can't Get the COVID Vaccine If You're This Age, CDC Says.
United also refuted part of Orban's claims.
"We are investigating this specific incident and have made contact with the family. We also refunded their tickets and returned their car seat and bags," the representative added, pointing out that "the parents and two year old are not banned from flying with United Airlines." And for more on the latest COVID news, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Orban called the experience "traumatizing."
"The experience was absolutely traumatizing, very humiliating too," Orban said in the interview with Fox and Friends. "I've never been more confused in my life. I did not even realize what was going on."
According to the New York Post, in the now private Instagram, Orban said her family had previously flown with their daughter "four times already since the pandemic, without ever having an issue." She told Fox and Friends part of her issue was the inconsistency with which these policies are enforced. And for more on the one mask to ditch, check out This Type of Face Mask Isn't Protecting You From COVID, WHO Warns.