Before you read, I want to strongly urge you to sign up for Todd’s free newsletter. It’s your only life line to conservative news and commentary. We can no longer rely on social media. Click here to subscribe.
A Maryland Southwest frequent flyer was kicked off a flight for not wearing his mask in between bites.
Avi Mandel took off his mask to snack on some Twizzlers before his Fort Lauderdale-bound flight from Baltimore. He recorded a video on his cell phone, saying he “got kicked off a plane because I wasn’t wearing my mask in between my bites while I was eating.”
When a flight attendant told Mandel to mask up, he thought she didn’t know he was eating, Mandal told WBZ-TV. Then he heard “Everyone who’s eating has to wear mask in between bites” over the loudspeaker.
However, the plane returned to the gate and a security team escorted Mandel off.
Mandel told WBZ-TV “there was no warning of it, there was no explanation, there was nothing. It was just a matter of, like, ‘I don’t like you; get off the plane.'”
Video shows other passengers sticking up for Mandel, who is seen wearing a tie-dye mask: “That is so wrong. He did nothing wrong…He was eating. Oh my God.”
Mandel said he was rebooked on a flight but will not be flying Southwest anytime soon.
“It was absurd,” he told the station. “The way I was treated was absolutely absurd. It was crazy, and it wasn’t fair.”
He told WBZ he later found out a new federal mask mandate went into effect in February requiring passengers to wear face masks at all times — including “in between bites,” which he said he would have done if the crew told him.
“I think it could be handled a lot better, and I think the rule could have been placed better,” he told the station. “I always do follow the rules. I’m on their plane, I get it. But this was not a rule I knew of, and it wasn’t explained to me. I didn’t see it anywhere at that point, so to me, it wasn’t a rule that I was breaking. Had I known, I obviously would have done it differently, but you got to tell someone the rule in order for them to follow it.”
A Southwest spokesperson told WBZ the airline regrets any inconvenience to Mandel but noted “the face covering policy is communicated throughout the booking and check-in process, and it’s the responsibility of their crew to enforce federal regulations.”