COVID-19 guidelines are in place for good reason, but a couple of Spirit Airlines employees made one family’s trip an absolute nightmare for no good reason!
According to reports, a pregnant woman and her family — including her 7-year-old son with special needs — were kicked off a flight because her 2-year-old daughter wasn’t wearing a mask while eating yogurt before takeoff.
Ari and Avital Eisenberg were going back home to Tom’s River, New Jersey after spending Passover in Florida with their children on Monday when they boarded a plane that was set to leave Orlando and head to New York. Avital, who is seven months pregnant, told Fox News that her son Daniel has special needs, and that covering his mouth can induce seizures. She told a flight attendant she would try and keep it on him — but it was her toddler Rikki who apparently made waves with flight attendants.
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In one of the several recordings of the incident that were shared on social media, the 2-year-old is seen sitting on her mother’s lap eating yogurt when a female flight attendant tells them they have to get off the plane. The bewildered parents ask why they’re being kicked off — to which the flight attendant responds:
“I’m sorry. They want you off… noncompliant with the masks.”
When Ari and Avital maintained that they had been wearing their masks, the attendant pointed to their toddler and said:
“She’s not wearing one.”
At this point, other passengers sitting nearby chimed in, telling the airline employee that other babies on the plane weren’t wearing masks. Onlookers also noted that the young girl was eating while waiting for takeoff.
But even though Ari protested that they also have their “special needs” son with them, the flight attendant stood firm, saying:
“It’s not my choice… We’re done talking. The pilot wants you off, so you have to get off.”
The mother begged:
“She’s a baby. She just turned 2 a month ago. She’s been trying to wear it.”
But the flight attendant wasn’t hearing any of it: she walked away and said she was going to call the police onto the plane.
Fortunately, the family and all of the passengers were let back onto the plane shortly after disembarking. Ari can be heard saying in another video:
“Happy ending! We’re back on.”
Still, the incident took a toll on the couple’s young children. Avital told Fox News the whole experience was traumatic for her kiddos, sharing:
“She just kept repeating that she needs me to deplane and I said I’m not going anywhere, I didn’t do anything wrong. We tried to explain that we’re doing everything we can with the kids… My son missed his medication window. Thank God he didn’t have a seizure. He was sitting there in a soaking wet diaper because I couldn’t change him during the whole thing. My daughter is going crazy from all this it was a terrible terrible experience to go through let alone someone with a special needs child.”
“I have no words. Next level craziness. I understand if I gave someone attitude… but there was none of that. We were about to take off. Everything was fine and all of the sudden someone comes over to us and asks us to deplane. We did comply they and nothing to say. I kept asking what didn’t we comply with they and nothing to say.”
Wow, so frustrating!
Spirit’s policy requires that all travelers over two years old to wear face coverings in compliance with CDC guidelines on flights and in airports. Per the company’s website:
“Face coverings may be removed only while eating, drinking, or taking medication — when done eating, drinking, or taking medication, face coverings must be repositioned immediately… Children under the age of 2 years old are exempt. There may be other limited exceptions for a Guest with a disability recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) who meet certain criteria.”
Clearly, tensions are high in the sky, because even though the child was technically not under the age of 2, it really doesn’t seem like this family deserved to get the boot. What do U think about this drama, Perezcious readers? You can check out footage of the incident (below) and share your thoughts in the comments.
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