Oh, this is something…
Man refused to wear mask for “medical reasons”
- The man declared he had a medical reason not to wear a mask
- He claimed people on the plane were “tripping out” and “may not want to fly” because of his lack of a mask
- He emphasized that “they can not violate your HIPAA rights as an American and ask you about your medical condition”
- He told people to “know your rights, stand up for your rights, and you’ll win”
- He claimed that “they tried to kick [him] off the plane,” though conveniently he didn’t tape that part
- He explained that “we have laws, we have rights, and that’s why we live in the greatest country in the world”
With masks increasingly becoming a political issue, in late July most major US airlines removed all exemptions for not wearing a mask. That means that while he could technically get away with this back on July 25, as of July 29 that loophole disappeared for American Airlines flights.
Here’s the video from that July 25 flight, should you want to see it:
Well, he has been banned from American Airlines
While he acts surprised, it’s pretty clear he knew exactly what was going on, given that he started filming the check-in experience right away:
- The check-in agent informed him that his ticket was void
- He claimed his ticket still showed as active in the app, but that he wasn’t able to check-in online; he called American Airlines, and they told him he’d need to check-in at the airport
- He claimed he didn’t get a phone call or “anything” from American Airlines saying his ticket was voided and that he wouldn’t be able to get on his flight
- After waiting for quite a while he was informed “so we have a situation; the deal is that you’re not able to go on an American Airlines flight, you have some issues before, it seems like it”
- He responds to the agent by explaining that “the one time I didn’t have a mask for medical reasons, the captain called and they said it was okay, and then I got a phone call saying they were no longer going to allow medical exemptions”
Here’s the video of the check-in experience, should you want to see it:
— David J Harris Jr (@DavidJHarrisJr) August 11, 2020
My take on this situation
My first question about this situation is what happened to his medical condition that prevented him from wearing a mask on flights just a few weeks ago? Was he suddenly healed?
More specific to this situation:
- American Airlines absolutely should have explicitly informed him that he was banned, so that other employees wouldn’t be put in such an uncomfortable situation
- That being said, I’m not convinced American Airlines didn’t tell him; the guy claimed he was contacted to be told that there will be no more medical exemptions, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the conversation went beyond that
- Regardless, it seems pretty clear that the guy knew exactly what was happening at check-in, and he was looking for the publicity associated with this
- Regardless of how many warnings this guy was given, it’s also American Airlines’ prerogative to ban any passenger they like, especially those looking for trouble; of course people also have the right to fly whatever airline they’d like and boycott American Airlines because of it
A guy who posted a video of him refusing to wear a mask on an American Airlines flight found out that he was banned while checking in for his next flight. He claims the airline didn’t explicitly inform him that he was banned.
Personally I think he should just count his blessings — over the course of a few weeks his medical condition that prevented him from wearing a mask improved, and that’s something to be grateful for.