Man Kicked Off Allegiant Flight For Asking Flight Attendant To Wear Mask

Filed Under: Allegiant Air

We’ve seen airlines kick quite a few passengers off planes over refusal to follow mask policies. However, this might be the first situation I’ve seen where someone was kicked off a plane for telling someone else — and specifically, a flight attendant — to wear a mask.

Surprising reason man was kicked off Allegiant flight

Yesterday morning a man was kicked off an Allegiant Air flight from Punta Gorda for being “disruptive.” What was he doing to be disruptive? Asking a flight attendant to put on a face mask, allegedly.

According to what we know, the flight attendant lowered her mask during the safety demonstration to speak into the PA, and the man repeatedly interrupted the safety demonstration to tell the flight attendant to put it back on.

At that point the flight attendant told the man he had to leave the aircraft, and warned that law enforcement would be called if he didn’t get off voluntarily.

There were a couple of videos of the incident, one of which has since been deleted. It seems that in general others sided with the passenger confronting the flight attendant:

  • Several passengers express frustration over him being removed
  • Another man can be heard saying “Allegiant has their freaking policy, you’re supposed to be wearing a f*cking mask to begin with”
  • A woman can be heard saying “this is not right,” to which the flight attendant responds “I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do”
  • As the passenger gets off the plane he encourages others to come off with him, and he also makes one last plea to the captain to talk to him, saying “I just asked someone to put on their face mask, that’s all I did”
  • Rather than the clapping you usually see when people are kicked off planes, here there are sighs

Here’s one of the videos of the man leaving the plane:

Allegiant Air’s statement about this incident

As an Allegiant Air spokesperson describes the situation:

“The passenger was removed for repeatedly disrupting the pre-flight safety briefing which includes reiteration of our inflight face-covering policy. The flight attendant giving the safety briefing lowered their mask for speaking into the PA so the briefing could be understood.”

It’s worth noting that Allegiant’s published policy is that “all crew members are required to wear a face covering at all times and gloves during inflight service.”

My take on this Allegiant Air mask drama

People will be shocked to hear that I have some opinions on this. 😉 In no particular order:

  • I don’t understand why some people think that they have to lower their face mask to speak; I see this everywhere, and it’s just so silly
  • Even if the flight attendant was only lowering her mask to make an announcement, flight attendants should be setting the example for passengers, and that includes flight attendants keeping on masks at all times, in line with Allegiant’s policy
  • Flight attendants should be looking to deescalate situations, so it’s kind of disappointing the flight attendant wasn’t capable of resolving this situation without kicking someone off
  • I don’t understand Allegiant’s defense of this flight attendant, making it sound like it’s okay to remove your mask when speaking, in violation of its published policy; does that also apply when providing service throughout the flight?

Now, that being said:

  • We don’t know exactly how the passenger confronted the flight attendant, and repeatedly interrupting the safety demonstration probably isn’t the way to go about things
  • At the same time, most people onboard sided with this passenger, which suggests he wasn’t being overly confrontational

For what it’s worth, Allegiant was the last major US airline to introduce a mandatory face mask policy. I don’t think that’s a coincidence — the airline does tend to have different demographic than most other airlines.

So in many ways it’s surprising that it was an Allegiant flight where a passenger was confronting a flight attendant over this.

Bottom line

Allegiant Air has to my knowledge become the first airline to kick someone off for asking someone else to wear a mask. While the guy may not have taken the right approach to confronting the flight attendant, other passengers seem to have agreed with him, and there’s also no reason you should have to lower your mask to make an announcement.

  1. If the airline or the flight attendants are worried that a mask muffles the safety briefing then they should pre-record it and have the flight attendants do their demonstration while the recording plays. American’s been doing that for years and years on the single-attendant ERD/ER4 fleet and it works great.

  2. I think you’re right in general but from experience talking to dozens of masked patients everyday while masked, also some people’s voices can get a bit muzzled.

    The FA probably should have been facing away from the passengers.

  3. As we see, our world is obsessed with being right, being in charge, and taking enforcement into our own individual hands…and projecting it onto everyone “else.”

    I truly doubt safety was much of a motive.

    I make no assumptions on this situation, but I think a gentle request would be fine, and if not followed a complaint lodged with the airline, or the captain if the situation were all that urgent. Given the food and beverage exemption for mask-wearing, I find this less than offensive. But, unlike this man, I see my view as an opinion, not something I feel compelled to impute onto everyone else. And yes, from my own personal experience, masks have made verbal communication difficult.

  4. I can’t imagine that more than maybe a few of the pax on that flight were traveling for essential purposes, making all the others irresponsible schmucks from the moment they booked their tickets.

  5. 1. Where exactly was the FA as she spoke over the intercom? If she was doing the announcements the FA was most likely 6 feet away from any passengers or other crew members.

    2. Ben, you seemed to eat and drink well on your Lufthansa flight for your 100% essential trip to Turkey, though as I recall the salmon was disappointing (I’m so sorry!) – how did you do that without removing your mask? If it’s unsafe for an FA in the galley to lower their mask to do a safety briefing that must be heard clearly by all passengers, then it’s unsafe for passengers to eat/drink during flight.

    3. If there had been an in flight emergency and oxygen masks had popped out, this poor gentleman probably would have had a coronary seeing people take off their masks. I mean, why do people think you have to take your mask off to breathe in oxygen? Trump voters, geez…

    4. I have friends who, as much as I love them, are wacko lefties who fear the Biden/Harris ticket is too conservative but still plan to vote Democrat by mail and in person, and they fly Allegiant to visit family in the Orlando area because it’s the only nonstop option from our airport – and they actually quite love the airline and its people. So no, not every Allegiant passenger is a right-winger.

  6. So I suppose all the people supporting the passenger and calling out the flight attendant for lowering her mask would not for a second think of eating or drinking on a plane. I flew United last week on a CRJ and the intercom system was terrible. Had the FA not lowered her mask during the safety demonstration no one would have understood anything.

  7. @ Ksa63 — Allegiant’s policy for flight attendants wearing masks:
    “All crew members are required to wear a face covering at all times and gloves during inflight service.”

    United’s policy for customers wearing masks:
    “Customers are expected to wear a mask for the duration of the flight, except when eating or drinking.”

    And you were flying a United CRJ and the flight attendant had to lower her mask to do the safety demonstration? Am I missing something, or since when do United RJs not have pre-recorded audio tracks for the safety demo? Maybe I’m confused…

  8. @William I’m with you 100%. Every point you made is correct. But people these days don’t have any common sense. I would also assume that Ben is one of those people who would have a meltdown if they saw someone in a store lower their mask to take a drink for a split second.

  9. It’s okay, that passenger probably got the last laugh anyways as the Allegiant flight probably didn’t even make their final destination and had to make another emergency landing.

    I wonder if Allegiant made him pay a flight removal fee as well.

  10. William says:
    September 8, 2020 at 9:44 am

    1. Where exactly was the FA as she spoke over the intercom? If she was doing the announcements the FA was most likely 6 feet away from any passengers or other crew members.
    BIG misconception. 6 feet will not protect you.

    6 feet is designed for people just standing and breathing. Even then 6 feet is not perfect but chosen because of statistics. Many viral particles don’t go that far.

    Start talking loudly, yelling, or coughing and 6 feet is too short. A cough can propel virus 45 feet.

  11. Was he asking or telling?

    There is a difference between them so which is it?

    My take is he was removed from the flight because – as you write – he was disrupting the safety briefing.

  12. Ben, Your absolutely right!!!! Wear a mask or pre record it period!! I love American Airlines. Protest Alligent Airlines!!

  13. It is ironic that a flight attendant would remove her mask during a safety briefing, as mandatory mask wearing policies exist almost exclusively for alleged safety reasons. The FA should be terminated for cause and the passenger compensated for the retaliatory actions taken against him.

    Since the FA’s announcement was accompanied by a demonstration of inappropriate and unsafe behavior, its validity as a legitimate safety briefing is nullified.

  14. Slow news day?
    Airline policy says they have to wear mask during inflight service, not while making a safety announcement . A disruption of the safety announcement is grounds for disembarking.

  15. I don’t see the reason why people have to escalate every mask situation especially since the flight attendant was standing far away from passengers and only took it off briefly. People can just be so ridiculous.

  16. Maybe it’s me but I don’t want to run around and spend my life worrying about what others are doing or not doing. I’ve always had a healthy lifestyle and as I’ve gotten older I now see people my age so obese and with loss of mobility that they need to be wheeled down to the plane because they could never make that walk. I can’t imagine living that way.

    I’m come to the conclusion my best defense if I still want to lead a full life is being healthy to begin with. There’s no guarantee but I’m more likely to die in an automobile accident and I haven’t stop driving.

    I also don’t think that wearing a mask hours on end is healthy. It can’t be. If a flight attendant wants to take it off for a few minutes to get some fresh air I could care less. It’s not like she’s coming over and breathing all over me.

  17. @George
    I was with you until that last paragraph.
    You are so sure that masks are not healthy…thank god you aren’t a healthcare worker.
    They wear masks hours upon hours to save the lives of people like you.

  18. Do you interact with any deaf people? Masks are a huge problem as they make lipreading impossible. I doubt that was the rationale in this case (since we’re talking about speaking into a PA mic), but it’s why I wear a mask with a window.

  19. Two points:

    1) the CDC says, when unable to wear a face mask at work, one should wear a face shield instead. there are legitimate reasons to not wear a mask, such as allowing those who are hearing impaired to read lips.

    2) there is a problem when a private citizen can write on the fly. It’s the law to follow a flight attendant’s instructions allows a flight attendant to essentially write law on the fly. another example of this is the end user agreements you sign on software. you can be found to break the law if you don’t follow these covenants written be some third party.

    3) if you are healthy enough to fly in a less-than-1 ATM-pressurized cabin, you almost certainly don’t have any health conditions preventing you from wearing a mask.

  20. Finally some airline that cares about their employees’ wellbeing. I wish unions would stand for their members and made this a standard.

  21. Ben,
    While I agree will you that airline policy is crew members are required to properly wear an approved mask, you may not know the internal policy of the airline, only the publicly published policy. I know at mine, masks are required onboard for FA’s except for/during a medical event, onboard emergency, crew rest and sleeping, eating meals or drinking in the galley, or when it interferes with the performance of safety duties.

  22. Why reporting this?
    1) Allegiant has Myallegiant FF program with no airline partners and no point transfer partners
    2) Airline does not offer elite status
    3) There is no first class
    4) You cannot get Allegiant points by flying
    5) Their points are earned via a credit card and are worth $0.01.

    Now if this blog is about masks, it is a minor incident considering what is going on around the world:

  23. I am genuinely curious because I want to understand the psychology of the Trump supporters. Why do they act like snowflakes? Why do they throw tantrums about the most mundane stuff? Do they just want attention? I observe this in the comments section all the time. Can anyone enlighten?

  24. Ben, I don’t know about all the United RJs, but on the ORD YUL flight last Thursday the FA gave a safety demonstration with her mask off. And quote the policies all you want, it’s simply silly to think lowering a mask for a safety demo or eating or drinking is a problem.

  25. @Derek says: “Start talking loudly, yelling, or coughing and 6 feet is too short. A cough can propel virus 45 feet.”
    All quite correct, but would not expect such uncouth behaviour from the average FA, even on Allegient.

  26. Wow this blog has gone downhill. I used to consider it the best of the bunch in the travel, points & miles world, but now it’s just

    One Mask at a Time

  27. It may surprise you but there are usually exemptions to the mask requirement where people may have to see lips moving, such as for those who are hard of hearing. This is the case in Australia where in Victoria where masks are compulsory you may remove it when it is designed to increase the ability for someone to understand you.

  28. Allegiant Air, another loser airline on the verge of bankruptcy. On another post there was a passenger who left a nasty note to flight attendant on American Air and we all thought it was rude and wondered why they would do that. Well, the above post is why passengers would be motivated to leave nasty notes to flight crews like in the American Airline story posted days ago.

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