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California family say they were treated like criminals on a Southwest flight because their toddler wouldn't keep his mask on

Business Insider
Business Insider
A Southwest Airlines plane lands at Los Angeles international airport.

A California family said Southwest Airlines "just wanted them off the plane" when their 3-year-old son refused to keep his face mask on.

After the experience, the family is vowing to never fly on the airline again.

Eric Hansen, his wife, and their toddler were all ready to fly from Las Vegas to San Jose on Friday 23 July, KRON4 reported .

"They're a pretty big airline in the Bay Area but I am going to do all I can to not get another one of their flights and potentially go through another situation like this," Hansen told KRON4.

Hansen said two flight attendants and a gate agent treated them like criminals. When they feared police were being called to arrest them, they voluntarily stepped off the flight, according to KRON4.

The family said they had to spend an extra night in Las Vegas without any of their checked baggage, as a result.

"They should have given us more time, maybe walked away and said we will give you five or 10 minutes, but their flight was late so I think they were trying to make time. They just wanted us off the plane and they didn't give us any time to talk him through it and try to get him to put it on," Hansen said.

Hansen complained to the airline, which sent him an email apologizing for his experience on the flight. But it also stated that under the CDC's "Federal mask mandate, all customers (age 2 or over) are required to wear a mask. If the customer does not comply with crew member instructions, we may refuse transportation."

Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Hansen told KRON4 that the policy was inconsistent because his son was maskless on the inbound flight to Las Vegas and the rebooked Southwest flight back to San Jose the next day.

In a similar incident in April, a family of three were booted off a Southwest Airlines flight after their 2-year-old could not keep his mask on.

In that case, a passenger named Erik Harvey, his wife Michelle, and their toddler Jackson were all ready to fly from Denver to Austin on April 1, Fox News reported. However, they were told to leave because Jackson was unmasked.

A Good Samaritan later stepped in to help them reach their intended destination at no extra cost.

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Comments / 155

Red Crow

Sounds more like a parenting fail than a SW airlines fail. Knowing masks are required on flights these parents should have gotten the child accustomed to it prior to the flight. Instead they go crying to a news outlet that they didn’t receive preferential treatment and weren’t allowed to delay everyone else’s flight?? Ludicrous…


Good for you people that don't have kids don't understand it's almost impossible to monitor a toddler 24/7 On top of that wearing a mask For young children that are still in development age is a very bad thing

Ramir Gopher

masks are as useless as the socialists that believe in them and they never worked against anything, they were all just a political tool to see which  🐑 people would blindly follow. 🥔🥥


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