Home / Business / Mom says Southwest Airlines removed her and her 2-year-old son over the mask policy

Mom says Southwest Airlines removed her and her 2-year-old son over the mask policy

(CNN) – Before Saturday, Jodi Degyansky had traveled by air five times since commercial airlines began requiring passengers to wear masks. But she never thought she would end up being dumped off a flight for her 2-year-old son eating gummy bears.

“I’m superhumiliated,” said Degyansky, who was returning home to Chicago with her son after visiting family in Florida. Degyansky said the crew of Southwest Airlines Flight 2420 approached her when her son was eating at the start of the flight at lunchtime with the face mask resting under his chin as the flight departed from the gate. and began to roll.

Airline pilots and flight attendants talk about the challenge of enforcing mask regulations

“There were no heated arguments,”

; said Degyansky, who described how a flight attendant told her other families of young children that she sidestepped Southwest’s policy by eating the entire flight. Degyansky said at that point, his son voluntarily wore his mask.

Southwest’s policy only says children under 2 years of age are exempt from the rule that passengers wear a face cover on board a flight and at the airport.

“We recognize that there may be times when a client needs to briefly remove the face cover, for example, to eat, drink or take medicine,” the Southwest’s mask website reads. “However, we expect these instances to be very short and customers should get back to covering their faces as soon as possible.”

Degyansky’s flight returned to the gate at Southwest Florida International Airport near Fort Myers, where the couple were told they would be rebooked on a later flight.

“I feel horrible that my son had to put up with it,” said Degyansky, who ended up buying a $ 600 ticket home with another airline. to make the first day of her child’s daycare.

In a statement to CNN, Southwest Airlines said it would not discuss the details of the incident but said it would contact Degyansky “to find out more about what may have happened.”

Other situations involving masks

The incident isn’t the first time a family has clashed with air mask policies.

Last month, Southwest Airlines removed a passenger and his 3-year-old son from a flight after the child, who has autism, refused to wear a mask and became angry.

Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said 270 people were placed on the airline’s no-fly list for refusing to wear a mask on board its flights.

“I’m definitely not an anti-masquerade,” said Degyansky, who called gray parts of Southwest politics. area.

“I think there is a need for a certain level of additional questions so that there is more coherence … more compassion from society.”

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