Recently, my family and I traveled on a short flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nashville. We were traveling with two children (ages 2 and 8). Our 2 year old sometimes has trouble keeping her mask on, and on the flight down, no one even mentioned her wearing one. On the flight back, we were very much harassed about her wearing her mask and that it covered her nose and mouth at all times. Okay, no big deal. We are not anti-maskers and understand the rules even though they were not consistently enforced. Our daughter didn’t have problems and we were able to reason and bribe her with keeping her mask on, but the little boy (also 2) in front of us had a visible learning disability and was not able to comply with this rule. The flight attendants were extremely rude to this single mother traveling alone. She kept explaining that her son had autism and didn’t understand and the flight attendants were EXTREMELY rude and inconsiderate to her son’s needs. The flight was held up for 30 minutes because the poor toddler kept ripping his mask off. He didn’t understand what was going on and his little eyes were so sad and confused with why everyone was upset with him. At this point, the mom became angry because the flight attendants did not care that her son had special needs and they threatened to remove her and her son from the plane if he didn’t leave his mask on. The flight attendants came back again and removed mother and son from flight even though she was traveling alone. Throughout the entire ordeal, they kept coming to my aisle and giving my daughter death looks to make sure she was still wearing her masks. I have never felt more uncomfortable. Two year olds should not be treated with disdain over a mask issue - especially one with special needs!!! I also want to point out that my daughter is white without a learning disability, and the little boy in front of us was black and had a visible disability. Then the mom had to plead with flight attendants that he is autistic in front of other passengers. I had tried to call for two weeks about this incident and got through to no one!!! This is not okay and needs to be addressed immediately in company policy and also an apology to this poor mother and her child.
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