Conservative activist Brandon Straka has been banned from flying with American Airlines after he was booted from a plane for refusing to wear a mask as part of the company’s Covid-19 guidelines.
“American Airlines thoroughly reviewed an incident on June 17 involving one of our customers, Brandon Straka,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. “As a result of this review, Mr. Straka will not be permitted to fly American, as he failed to comply with our stated policy and crewmember instructions.”
Straka is the first person in the US to be banned by an airline for not wearing a mask. He will continue to be banned as long as mask-wearing measures are in place. Airlines have updated their policies in recent days and are enforcing mask-wearing rules, after facing criticism in the media for some flights not requiring either. Other airlines, such as United, have also promised to blacklist customers who refuse to comply with mask-wearing requirements.
Straka refused to wear a mask on Wednesday on a flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
“You’re asking me to do something that’s not a law,” Straka told AA employees.
The #WalkAway founder – a former Democrat who switched to supporting President Donald Trump – said in a series of tweets that the airline employees never asked him for a specific reason why he couldn’t wear a mask, and that he received “death threats” online for his refusal to comply, after going public with the spat.
The past 24 hrs has proven conclusively to me what I already knew. I have been inundated with death threats, attacks on social media & email. None of these ppl have asked if I there’s a reason why I couldn’t wear the mask. They are just another arm of the left’s rageful mob.
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) June 18, 2020
I was just removed from my flight for not wearing a mask. 1st time this has happened. Not a federal law. @AmericanAir staff standing over me telling me it’s THE LAW. So much for “please respect those who can not wear a mask”. When I pointed out this wasn’t a law I was removed.
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) June 17, 2020
There is no federal mandate to wear a mask in public, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends them in public settings where social distancing is not possible. Several states now require them in public, including California.
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