An angry passenger was approached from a Spirit Airlines flight to Florida from New York City because he had refused to wear a face mask.
On Friday, a tense clash between an unknown man and a port authority police officer led to an arrest at LaGuardia Airport in Queens.
Flight attendants said the man was disturbing and the authorities were asked to intervene.
The footage shows the man who is already on his flight to Fort Lauderdale while arguing with a policeman about facewear.
Face masks on flights have become commonplace in America as the coronavirus pandemic in the southern United States continues to peak.
An unidentified man (left) on a Spirit Airlines flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was kicked off his flight Friday because he wasn’t wearing a face mask
Although much of the officer’s speech is muffled by his face mask, you can hear him tell the man to be asked to put on a mask.
The man is accused of “looking somebody in the face”, but he vehemently denies it.
“Have I looked someone in the face? I didn’t jump in anyone’s face, «says the man. “I was sitting here waiting for you to come.”
As the two men continue to argue, the man reveals that he is traveling to his father, who had a stroke.
The man (left) argued with a port authority police officer (right) that he would travel to his sick father in Florida and should stay on the flight
“I’m asking you what should I do?” the officer asks.
“I want to stay on the flight,” replies the man.
The officer says to the man, “I can’t force her to let you stay on the flight.” He continues to ask the man to either mask himself or remove himself.
Meanwhile, several passengers watching the exchange intervene on behalf of the man and ask him to stay on the flight.
‘Let this man fly. Why can’t he go home? says a passenger.
The video ends with the man refusing to leave the flight, but additional footage appears to show the man who was arrested by port officials.
Mobile phone recordings showed the man (center) who was arrested by officials from the port authority after being removed from the flight
Spirit Airlines released a statement after the incident was posted on social media and drew attention.
“Spirit Airlines asked the police to intervene after a man boarded LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale flight NK197, removed his face covering, and refused to put it back on,” the statement said.
In the end, the man decided to fly independently instead of risking legal consequences.
‘Spirit will always be on the side of caution when it comes to the health and safety of our guests. Wearing a face cover is simple, light, and vital for Spirit and the entire aerospace industry. ‘
Like other major airlines, Spirit Airlines updated its security requirements for passengers in May due to a virus that has almost brought the industry to a standstill.
“All guests must wear appropriate masks or face coverings over their noses and mouths to better comply with CDC recommendations on fabric face covers in public places,” a company press release said.
Spirit Airlines also implemented high-grade fog treatments to deeply clean airplanes and highly efficient particulate filters.
The focus on clean airplanes came when several cases of coronavirus struck several states in the south, including Florida.
In June, infections in Florida increased by 168 percent or more than 95,000 new cases. The percentage of tests that were positive increased from four percent at the end of May to 15 percent.
This means that Florida, home to 21 million people, reports more new coronavirus cases every day than any European country at the peak of its outbreak.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, named Florida among 16 states where residents are encouraged to quarantine themselves when they travel to the Big Apple.
Quarantine applies to anyone who arrives from a country with a positive test rate of more than 10 per 100,000 population over a seven-day moving average or a country with a positive rate of 10% or more over a seven-day moving average.
“As more and more states across the country fight against significant community expansion, New York is taking steps to maintain the precarious security of its gradual, data-driven reopening,” said Cuomo in a statement.
To determine who is traveling to New York from these states, the State Department of Health is asking airlines to hand out a questionnaire to passengers as soon as they are on their flights.