As if having to fly to Newark, New Jersey isn’t punishment enough? Eliz Orban said she and her husband were kicked off their United Airlines flight to New Jersey because their two-year-old daughter refused to wear a mask.
Orban, who was flying with her family from Colorado to Newark, New Jersey, was in tears in a video she posted on Instagram showing herself in the airport along with her husband and daughter, Edeline, after getting off the plane.
“We just got kicked off a flight because our two-year-old would not put on a mask.
And we’re banned off United forever because a two-year-old would not put on a mask,”
But the shocking Instagram clip shows the moment airline staff remove the family from the flight, even as Orban and her husband try to put the mask on their daughter’s face.
At one point, a gate agent comes aboard the plane, walks over to the family’s seats and asks them to leave.
‘Hello sir. I’m going to have to ask you to grab your belongings and exit the aircraft,’
Orban’s husband responded: ‘You gotta be kidding me. Why? We’re over here holding this mask on her face.’
The agent then says: ‘I’m sorry sir. I gave you an opportunity. I’ve got to ask you to get off this plane.’
The couple tried to explain that they couldn’t force their daughter to put it on because she was ‘crying’.
The family is then seen gathering their belongings and walking off the aircraft.
In the clip, the agent is heard telling the couple that their luggage, including their daughter’s car seat, would remain on the plane and head to their final destination.
‘Our child seat is on that plane. How are we supposed to go home?’ Orban is heard asking.
‘Is this an actual joke?’ she questioned, but received no response.
After the ordeal Orban took to social media and shared the video, which has amassed more than 5.9 million views.
Orban wrote on Instagram that the World Health Organization recommends against face masks for children under the age of five years old.
‘And this decision was “based on expert opinion on childhood developmental milestones, challenges with mask compliance, and the autonomy required to wear a mask properly”
But the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) says that parents should help their children ‘if 2 years of age or older wear a mask correctly when in public and when around people they don’t live with’.
In a statement a spokesperson for United stated:
The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have a multi-layered set of policies, including mandating that everyone onboard two and older wears a mask.
These procedures are not only backed by guidance from the CDC and our partners at the Cleveland Clinic, but they’re also consistent across every major airline.
We are investigating this specific incident and have made contact with the family. We also refunded their tickets and returned their car seat and bags.
The airline’s mask policy does state that all flyers who are two years or older must wear a covering on their face with “no vents or openings” that covers the person’s nose and mouth.
The airline added that the parents and their two-year-old were not banned from flying with United Airlines in the future.
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