Colorado Family Kicked Off Flight After Toddler Refuses to Wear Mask
A Colorado family was removed from a United flight when their toddler refused to wear a mask.
Eliz Fulop and her husband Erhard Orban were set to leave Denver International Airport for New Jersey but were escorted from the United plane when their two-year-old daughter refused to wear a mask, a requirement of the airline. You can see on the video the father's futile attempts to put the mask on the little girl.
Elize says this is the fourth time they have flown during the pandemic and had not had any issue previously with their daughter not wearing a mask. She did admit, however, they had not reviewed the company's facemask policy for children.
According to KDVR, the airline is investigating the incident and has refunded the family's tickets and their baggage has been returned.
You can see in the video how upset this mother is by the incident, which is perfectly understandable. Obviously, her family was humiliated by the ordeal, not to mention being greatly inconvenienced.
The World Health Organization says generally children 5 years and younger should not be required to wear a mask though it says there may be local requirements for special needs and certain situations.
Was the airline right to kick this family off the plane? Could the situation have been handled differently? Do you sympathize with this family or do you think it was their fault for not checking the airline policy when they purchased their tickets? One mother I spoke to told me "It's ridiculous. Anyone who has had a 2-year-old knows it's unreasonable to expect a toddler to keep a mask on."
Several airlines, including United, have recently banned hundreds of passengers for non-compliance when it comes to facemasks. As people have pushed back against the guidelines and restrictions of the airlines, the airlines have pushed right back.
I can't help but sympathize with the parents who obviously did their best to comply with the airline regulations and were not intentionally being defiant. While the airline is free to implement whatever the rules they want, the parents are in a tough spot, and it sure seems like the airline could work with families of small children to get them to their destination without making it a big ordeal and a traumatic experience for the traveling families.