A mum claims she was removed from an American Airlines flight after her asthmatic toddler was unable to wear a mask, saying a 'power-tripping' flight attendant made her and her toddler leave the aircraft to be 'met by police officers'.
Amanda Pendarvis had been trying to fly from Dallas to Colorado Springs to visit family with her two-year-old son Waylon.
In a series of Instagram Story posts, she explained the incident had been 'the most humiliating/traumatizing experience', saying a flight attendant 'had the plane turned around and had us escorted to be met by police officers'.
"Why? Wait for it... Because my 2 year old was not properly wearing a mask," she wrote.
"Scroll to see how hard I was trying... Mind you, Way is asthmatic. We showed him a negative Covid test Way had yesterday, told him he has asthma and has never worn a mask before.
"He did not care that this asthmatic child was literally hyperventialting."
Pendarvis added: "I was not refusing a mask, not did I even say I wouldn't try to keep a mask on my son.
"We were escorted off the plane as I was holding a mask over his little face.
"I genuinely don't have words."
In a later post on Facebook, she explained the first part of her journey from Oklahoma City to Dallas had been fine, and that a flight attendant on that flight 'could not have been more kind or friendly', having 'fully empathized' with her situation.
"Nobody once acknowledged that Way was not wearing a mask," she said.
But the second flight had been a different story, with Pendarvis recalling how - upon request from the flight attendant - she had tried to get her son to wear a mask, but was struggling to do so amid his 'crying' and 'screaming'.
"My son has never worn a mask before, he was tired and fidgety and I couldn't get him to keep the mask on," she wrote.
"It escalated to the point he was covered in sweat, hysterical, and kept screaming "nooo, mama, NO!!!!!" and he ripped a total of 3 different masks off of his face.
"At this point I'm literally just holding a broken mask over his face because I literally don't know what else to do. He now is having difficulty breathing."
Pendarvis then claimed the flight attendant went to speak to the pilot, who 'gets on the intercom' to tell passengers: "Well the hold up is now about a mask issue with a passenger and that the plane will be held until that is under control."
She said: "The hysteria he had gotten himself to a point that warranted us using his emergency inhaler. It was AT THE POINT WE WERE GIVING MY CHILD A BREATHING TREATMENT that they get on the intercom and 'Okay, we are dealing with a non-compliant passenger and will be updating the plane shortly'."
"[...] A friendly man escorts us off the plane to 3 police officers who were very clearly expecting to contain a hysterical anti-masker who was flopping around. Nope. They are met with a 2 year old and mom with puffy faces from crying and his grandma - the two adults fully masked, totally mortified and shocked, and shook up about what just took place."
In a statement to Indy100, an American Airlines spokesperson said the party had 'refused to comply with instructions to remain seated and to wear face coverings securely', adding that the passenger and her son were rebooked onto a later flight.
The statement said: "On Sept. 13, American Airlines flight 1284 returned to the gate prior to departure from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to deplane a party refusing to comply with crew member instructions to remain seated while on an active taxiway and to wear face coverings securely over their nose and mouth.
"After agreeing to adhere to policies instituted for the safety of our customers and crew, all individuals were rebooked for travel on the next flight to Colorado Springs (COS)."
LADbible has reached out to American Airlines for comment.
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