Southwest employees removed a man wearing Trump apparel from a flight for removing his face mask. The man said he lowered his mask to eat a bag of roasted peanuts. The man wore a Trump 2020 mask and a Black Voices for Trump hat.
In the video posted to Twitter, Southwest employees confronted the man and ordered him to leave the plane. “Right now you’re not going on this airplane,” one crew member said.
The woman filming the video and some of the surrounding passengers came to the man’s defense. “So you’re just going on here-say and violating Southwest policy then, right?” she asked. “Can you tell us the policy that prevents him from taking off his mask while he’s eating, please?”
The crew member threatened to call the police if the passenger didn’t leave. The passenger said, “It’s the hat.”
“It’s the hat and the mask. It’s not the eating. I fly three times a week,” the woman who filmed the video agreed. The man agreed to leave the plane after another male passenger agreed to go with him. A nearby passenger said the man only lowered his mask to eat the peanuts.
“Can you clarify for us? Are we not allowed to take our masks off to eat on this plane?” the woman who filmed the video asked. The crew refused to answer the question. One crew member accused the situation of being a publicity stunt and asked if she was filming for a podcast.
“Listen to the flight crew and follow their instructions,” one crew member responded. A nearby passenger said the man had been cooperating.
Donald Trump Jr. Criticized Southwest For The Incident.
After the incident, Donald Trump Jr. criticized the airline on Twitter. He wrote, “WTF??? This is disgusting. I’ve been on a thousand flights in the last few months and everyone lowers their masks to eat and drink. I did it on a southwest flight earlier this week.”
Since the incident, Southwest released a statement, according to Washington Examiner. They said the crew asked the passenger repeatedly “at different times to wear a face mask.” The passenger also didn’t “comply with our Crew’s multiple verbal requests — including while boarding the flight before seated.”
“Therefore, the decision was made to return to the gate and re-accommodate him on a later flight to his final destination after receiving assurances he would comply with our face covering policy,” the airline continued. “We regret the inconvenience the situation created for all involved, but our Crew must uphold the well-being and comfort of all Passengers.”