BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A Baltimore County man stated he was kicked off a Southwest Airways flight for not carrying a masks whereas consuming Twizzlers and needs to share his story within the hopes issues will change.
Avi Mandel stated he was a frequent Southwest flyer till his flight Sunday out of Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington Worldwide Airport.
He confirmed WJZ a selfie video he made in the course of the flight, by which he stated, “I, Avi Mandel, simply received kicked off a airplane as a result of I wasn’t carrying my masks in between bites whereas I used to be consuming.”
“That’s so unhappy. That’s so fallacious,” Mandel informed WJZ. “It was absurd. The best way I used to be handled was completely absurd. It was loopy and it wasn’t truthful.”
He was ready on the airplane for it to take off for Fort Lauderdale when he received hungry and opened a pack of Twizzlers, a frequent snack.
A flight attendant informed Mandel he needed to put his masks on “and sort of, like, ran away. And I’m like, ‘Oh, I assume she didn’t know I used to be consuming.’ Then I hear on the loudspeaker, ‘Everybody who’s consuming has to put on masks in between bites.’”
Mandel stated he didn’t suppose a lot of it on the time. However the airplane returned to the gate, and a safety crew got here to escort him off the airplane, he stated. He stated he remained calm and respectful and different passengers caught up for him.
Mandel confirmed video of passenger Stephanie Misiaszek, who stated, “That’s so fallacious. He did nothing fallacious, wow.”
Mandel stated he knew he had no selection however to depart the airplane and described it as embarrassing.
After he emailed Southwest, he discovered a brand new federal masks mandate went into impact requiring airline passengers to put on face masks always, together with “in between bites.”
“If I knew this rule forward of time, I might have fortunately listened, however I had no clue,” Mandel stated.
The Transportation Safety Administration says airline passengers can take away masks whereas consuming, ingesting or taking medicines however should put them on between bites and sips and can’t go away them off for “extended intervals.”
That is one thing Mandel stated he wished would have been addressed in the course of the conversations on the airplane.
“I feel it may very well be dealt with so much higher, and I feel the rule might have been positioned higher,” he stated. “I at all times do comply with the principles. I’m on their airplane, I get it, however this was not a rule I knew of and it wasn’t defined to me. I didn’t see it anyplace at that time, so to me, it wasn’t a rule that I used to be breaking. Had I identified, I clearly would have completed it in another way, however you bought to inform somebody the rule to ensure that them to comply with it.”
A Southwest spokesperson stated in an announcement that whereas the airline regrets “any inconvenience induced, the face protecting coverage is communicated all through the reserving and check-in course of, and it’s the duty of their crew to implement federal laws.”
Mandel stated he was in a position to get rebooked on the subsequent flight to Florida Monday morning, however he gained’t fly Southwest once more any time quickly. However as for his selection of sweet?
“Yeah, I’m nonetheless into Twizzlers. I’m nonetheless down.”