A mother and her 2-year-old son were allegedly removed from an American Airlines flight after the boy was unable to keep his mask on. The video of the alleged incident shows the toddler, who is said to have asthma, crying while his mother attempts to keep his face mask on. The airline claims the child violated the federal mask mandate.
Amanda Pendarvis was flying on American Airlines Flight 1284 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Colorado on Sept. 13 with her son and her mother. Her 2-year-old son Waylon had a difficult time wearing a face mask, which was said to be the first time he wore a face covering. The toddler allegedly suffers from asthma. The mother claimed that she showed the flight crew a negative COVID-19 test for her son, but they said he still needed to wear a face covering.
Pendarvis posted an Instagram story on Monday detailing the incident, which she described as "the most humiliating/traumatizing experience."
"He got on the intercom and to say to the entire plane, 'I'm sorry for the delay but we are dealing with a non-compliant traveler,'" the mother said in the video, which shows the boy crying with a mask on his face.
"I was not refusing a mask. Nor did I even say I wouldn't try to keep a mask on my son," Pendarvis continued. "We were escorted off the plane as I was holding a mask over his little face. I genuinely don't have words."
Pendarvis, who appears to be wearing a mask in the video, is seen attempting to keep the mask on her toddler as he wriggles around.
"He won't even let it near his face," the mother says of the boy and the mask.
The plane purportedly returned to the gate to remove the family from the flight. The footage then shows the mother and boy being escorted by three police officers.
Pendarvis claims that a flight attendant named "Carl" was the one who "took a stance" to kick off the family from the flight. She called him "truly evil" and "power-tripping."
"He had the plane turned around and had us escorted off to be met by police officers. Why? Wait for it ... because my 2-year-old was not properly wearing a mask," she said.
"Mind you, Way is asthmatic. We had showed [the flight attendant] a negative Covid test Way had yesterday," Pendarvis wrote on the since-deleted Instagram story. "Told him he has asthma and has never worn a mask before. He did not care that this asthmatic child was literally hyperventilating."
American Airlines confirmed that there was an incident on Flight 1284.
"Initial reports indicate the party refused to comply with crew member instructions to remain seated and wear a face mask securely over their nose and mouth," American Airlines told National File. "After agreeing to adhere to federal face covering requirements, all individuals were rebooked for travel on the next flight to Colorado Springs (COS)."
The Biden administration implemented a mask mandate on Feb. 1, which requires travelers 2 years of age or older wear face coverings while on public transportation conveyances, including airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that people with asthma don't generally qualify for a disability exemption on public transportation.
"A person with a condition that causes intermittent respiratory distress, such as asthma, likely does not qualify for this exemption because people with asthma, or other similar conditions, can generally wear a mask safely," the CDC website states.