We’ve seen a countless number of stories of people being banned from airlines for poor mask compliance. Well, a recent United Airlines flight from Newark to Tel Aviv apparently had dozen of people not wearing masks, and… no one did anything about it?
“Traumatic” United Airlines flight to Israel
The Times of Israel has the story of what allegedly happened on a United Airlines flight last Thursday from Newark to Tel Aviv. Passengers report that there were dozens of people onboard who refused to wear masks.
I would almost assume this story can’t be true, because airlines are generally militant about face mask enforcement. However, there are pictures of some of these passengers (only one man standing up and praying is wearing a mask, and he’s not even wearing it correctly).
חשיפת 103fm: חרדים סירבו לעטות מסיכות בטיסת יונייטד איירליינס מניו יורק | טלי, אחת הנוסעות שהיו על הטיסה: "בחיים לא ראיתי זלזול כזה. טיסה שלמה ישבנו במדגרת קורונה. לא אכלנו ולא ישנו – נכנסנו לשירותים כדי לשתות כי פחדנו". @AnatDavidov @golanyochpaz
צילום: טלי טננבוים pic.twitter.com/l9PRRAeEa0
— 103FM (@radio103fm) January 24, 2021
A passenger on the flight stated that she started to get concerned when during boarding she noticed that dozens of passengers weren’t wearing masks. As she described the situation:
“The flight was three-quarters full, there were empty seats. In all honesty, in my whole life I have never seen such behavior, such contempt. We sat for the whole flight in the coronavirus breeding ground because one does not know if they were tested.
People sat without masks for the whole flight, for almost 10 hours. We did not eat, did not sleep. We went into the bathroom to drink because we were afraid to remove our masks.”
When these passengers were told to put on masks, the requests were ignored. Furthermore, when they were told to stop praying maskless, those requests were also ignored.
How on earth did this happen?
I don’t even want to speculate about why these passengers refused to wear masks, and I’d also rather not hear any justification. When you check-in for your United Airlines flight you have to agree you’ll adhere to the mask policy, and there are no exceptions aside from if you’re eating or drinking. Period.
What I’m genuinely curious about is how the crew didn’t take any action. It’s one thing if one person isn’t great about mask compliance, but we’re talking about many people here. And we’re not just talking about bad mask compliance, but these people are standing up without masks and talking out loud, further increasing risk to other passengers.
Passengers report that the issues started early on, so why didn’t the crew do anything?
This did get me thinking about a related topic. Diverting within the US due to an unruly passenger is easy enough, but it’s significantly more complicated if it happens in another country due to all the current entry restrictions.
For example, what if the United flight diverted to Canada or the European Union, where most passengers wouldn’t be allowed to enter the countries? And then what happens if the crew times out? This seems like it could be a logistical nightmare.
Dozens of passengers on a United Airlines flight from Newark to Tel Aviv last week allegedly refused to wear their masks for most of the flight, and the crew did nothing about it.
While I don’t envy the situation the crew was in, the airline needs to do better. While I think some people have unrealistic expectations of safety on planes, dozens of people not wearing masks for an extended period of time is on a completely different level…