A mother and her six children were booted from a JetBlue flight this week, because her 2-year-old little girl refused to wear a mask in accordance with the airline’s policy.
The mother says the experience was humiliating and “traumatizing” for her children and her husband is threatening legal action, but JetBlue stands by its decision.
What are the details?
New York mom Chaya Bruck, 39, and her children boarded a JetBlue plane in Florida headed to Newark on Wednesday, when the flight crew told Bruck her toddler must wear a face mask in order to travel. But Bruck explained that the girl — who had a pacifier in her mouth at the time — refused and pushed off her mask whenever the mother tried to put it on her.
The Washington Examiner reported that “video of the Wednesday interaction shows Bruck pleading with flight attendants to let her remain on the flight, with other passengers supporting her fight to keep the family on the plane.”
After Bruck resisted leaving, the captain ordered every passenger to get off the plane. Bruck, her children, and other passengers who defended them were not allowed back on, leaving the family stranded. They were eventually able to catch a flight home five hours later through United Airlines.
“I’m not a confrontational person, I didn’t want any trouble,” Bruck later recalled to Fox News. “I just wanted to get home with my six kids after a family vacation and this put a damper on our experience.”
“My kids started crying. They got scared,” the mother added. “They didn’t know what was going on. It was very traumatizing.”
JetBlue Airways’ corporate communications manager, Derek Dombrowski, told the outlet in a statement, “During these unprecedented times, our first priority is to keep crew members and customers safe, and we’ve quickly introduced new safety policies and procedures throughout the pandemic.”
He noted that the airline’s “face covering policy was updated most recently on Aug. 10 to ensure everyone is wearing a face-covering – adults and children alike – to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.” The spokesman reiterated, “Children age 2 and over must wear a face covering, consistent with CDC guidelines, which say ‘Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2.'”
But Bruck’s husband pointed out to The Yeshiva World that JetBlue’s own website stated Wednesday that “small children who are not able to maintain a face covering are exempt” from the mandatory mask policy. The language on the website now reads, “all travelers 2 years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey, including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning.”
Mr. Brucks says he is hiring an attorney and plans to file a federal lawsuit against the airline over the incident.