American Airlines claims Utah family of 20 kicked off flight for mask infractions
A Utah man speaking on behalf of his family claims the group was kicked off a recent American Airlines flight for a minor mask infraction.
According to the carrier, the Wilson family was removed from a Sunday flight from Salt Lake City International Airport to Dallas Fort-Worth after it was reported that they were not compliant with the airline’s mask policy. Family member Scott Wilson, however, alleges that this wasn't the case.
The man spoke with KSL-TV, saying that all 20 members of the family who had boarded the plane were booted after his mask briefly fell beneath his nose.
He told the news outlet, "I didn’t really see who it was but somebody said, ‘Hey, you know, keep your mask up.’ I dropped everything and moved it up, picked up my stuff and made our way to the back of the plane."
When the 10 adults and 10 children reached their seats, however, they were approached by a gate agent who said they needed to leave the plane. The entire family was reportedly removed from the flight.
In a statement obtained by Fox News, a spokesperson for American Airlines said, "On Sunday, Jan. 24, passengers traveling on American Airlines flight 1214 from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) were reported to be noncompliant with our mandatory face-covering policy, which requires face coverings be worn properly over the nose and mouth. Per procedure, the customers involved were asked to exit the aircraft before departure and the flight departed for DFW shortly after."
The statement concluded by confirming the airline’s face covering policy, which makes masks mandatory while onboard aircraft. Passengers who do not comply may even be denied future travel, according to the policy.
Wilson also said that as he and his family members exited the aircraft, other passengers attempted to stick up for them.
"There was actually a couple of families around us that stood up and was like, ‘This is wrong, that guy is being a jerk,’" he told the outlet. "He [the gate agent] was yelling at other people as they came on, too, and he was already mad at these guys. They didn’t do anything."
The family was reportedly rebooked on separate flights with American Airlines, Delta and United. All made it to their ultimate destination of Hawaii that same day.
This article originally appeared on Fox News