Passenger Sues Seven Airlines for Face Mask Discrimination

A man has filed suit against seven different U.S. airlines, alleging that each engaged in a practice of discrimination against travelers who can't wear face masks because of medical conditions.

Lucas Wall, of Washington, DC, can't wear a mask because he has generalized anxiety disorder, a complaint filed in US District Court in Orlando, Florida said, according to Business Insider. Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit airlines were all named in the suit.

Wall, who described himself as a frequent flyer, said he has been stuck at his mother’s retirement community in Florida for months because he’s not allowed to fly without a mask. He has filed a similar suit against several government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the federal mandate on masks which has been in place since last year.

His court filings included medical paperwork detailing his diagnosis.

"I take medication for that, but I'm still prone to panic attacks," he said in a phone interview with Insider. "One of the triggers is, any time my breathing is obstructed, that brings a feeling of claustrophobia and a complete sense of unease."

According to the complaint, Wall apparently bought tickets for eight flights this summer; when he went to Orlando International Airport for his first flight, on June 2, he recorded his interactions with members of the Transportation Security Administration.

"To get in you need a mask," a TSA officer said in one video. After a back-and-forth with the TSA officers, airport officials, and Southwest employees, Wall missed his flight.

Wall said the airlines' requirements violate the Air Carrier Access Act, which protects passengers with disabilities from discrimination.

JetBlue filed in opposition to a temporary restraining order and said Wall's complaint "is entirely without merit. Plaintiff cites that he needs emergency relief from this Court because, otherwise, he will be 'stranded at [his] mother's house in The Villages,'" wrote JetBlue's attorney, Suzanne E. Gilbert, of Holland & Knight LLP. "Plaintiff's procrastination is not an emergency."


This article originally appeared on Travel Pulse


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