Mom, 2-year-old son kicked off flight after toddler refuses to wear face mask

September 22, 2020
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    A mother explained her stressful time when she was kicked off an American Airlines flight after her 2-year-old son refused to wear a face mask.

    Rachel Davis posted a picture to Instagram of her son sleeping on her shoulder in front of an American Airlines ticketing booth. “I tried repeatedly, begged him, bribed him, pleaded with him, did everything I could while he was screaming and crying as I tried to hold him and put the mask on, feeling my absolute lowest of lows as a mother,” part of the caption read.

    Her Instagram post has received nearly 200,000 likes in three days.

    Davis told ABC News that she was on a work trip in Florida when Hurricane Sally made landfall. She explained how she tried to get out earlier, but they canceled her flight.

    “The eye of the storm went right over us early Wednesday morning and we lost power where we were staying,” she added.

    She then boarded her flight home to Manchester, New Hampshire. After finding her seat, the flight attendant told Davis and her “overtired” son that if he did not wear a face mask, they would be asked to leave the airplane.

    All passengers, including Davis and her son, were forced to leave the aircraft due to the incident.

    “It was very cold and cruel,” passenger Taylor Cournoyer said. “This wasn’t an issue of a grown adult not complying out of spite because they don’t agree with masks -- this was a child. And it was not a bad, irresponsible mom either — she was crying and trying to keep the mask on and asking the flight attendants for help and advice on what to do.”

    Cournoyer captured the hectic scene on Davis’s video at the gate area, pleading with crew and passengers.

    “I don’t know what you want me to do to keep the mask on him,” Davis said through tears in the video. “What do you want me to do -- duct tape his face? He’s 2 years old, he doesn’t get it!”

    Cournoyer said once she and the other passengers got back on the plane a lot of passengers tried speaking up, telling the flight attendants that they "really just made [them] deplane so that could remove a mother and a baby," to which the flight attendants replied "that's not what happened."

    The pilot then made an overhead announcement, according to a video, telling passengers, "I hate to talk like this but once we get going if there are any problems, if you guys give them any problems at all about the decisions that I have made we will turn the flight around and we will come back."

    "To ensure the safety of our customers and team, American Airlines requires all persons 2 years and older to wear an appropriate face covering throughout the entirety of their travel journey," American Airlines said in a statement. "Policies are enforced and approved face coverings are made available at key points throughout the customer journey. We’ve reached out to the family to learn more about their recent travel experience and to address their concerns."

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