Dallas — Two recent incidents involving young children who refused to wear masks show how airlines are trying to balance safety and compassion for all passengers during the pandemic.
JetBlue forced a woman and six children to leave the plane this week when her 2-year-old daughter was not wearing a mask.
When her mother Chaya Bruck told the Brooklyn family at the airport in Orlando, Florida, she said: “It was terrible. The whole experience was painful.”
Last week, a woman in Texas said that Southwest Airlines rescued her family from the plane after a 3-year-old child with autism refused to wear a mask. Alyssa Sadler said that her son was unhappy because he didn’t like touching his face.
All major US airlines have blocking rules and banned at least hundreds of passengers who refused to comply with the rules. Usually, the offenders are adults, and they believe that the government did not require masks, and did not wear masks. The Federal Aviation Administration (Federal Aviation Administration) refuses to impose one, and it is up to the airline to decide.
A JetBlue spokesperson said the company’s policies reflect the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask guidelines.
Airline spokesperson Derek Dombrowski said in an email: “In this unprecedented period, our top priority is to ensure the safety of our crew and customers. We have been in the pandemic. New security policies and procedures were quickly introduced.”
Dombrovsky said that customers will receive an email before the flight detailing the safety rules, including masks, and employees are always ready to help customers in need.
Brooke and her family are not politically opposed to masks. “She and her other children are wearing masks,” Gary Leff said. “She did her best, but some young children don’t wear masks and they can fly better with pacifiers.”
Sadler, a woman from the Houston area, took off from Midland, Texas, and flew home on a plane southwest. She said that she had a doctor’s note explaining her son’s autism status, but it did not help.
She told the Houston TV station KPRC: “I think children and even adults who don’t wear masks must be provided with appropriate things. They should enjoy some kind of immunity.”
Southwest Airlines is one of several airlines that have recently tightened their mask regulations by ending their exemptions for people who claim to have not covered their faces for medical reasons. The president of Southwest Airlines said last month that the change was made because passengers were unwilling to see other people wearing masks.
Southwest Airlines spokesman Dan Landson said on Thursday that the airline apologized for the inconvenience of the Sadlers. He said that passengers of No. 2 and above who do not wear masks will be refunded, “If there are changes to the public health guidelines on masks, they will be welcomed by airlines.”
Airlines have already made adjustments to other pandemic safety policies, such as cleaning aircraft and keeping some seat vacancies to make more room between passengers.
On Thursday, Delta Air Lines announced that it will continue to block the middle seats during the holidays and at least until January 6. Christmas usually means crowded airplanes, but it is difficult to know what the flights will be later this year. U.S. air travel during the summer peak is about 70% less than a year ago.
Post time: Aug-24-2020