ORLANDO, Fla. - A New York mother with six children says she was asked to deplane from a JetBlue flight in Orlando because she couldn't get her 2-year-old daughter to put on a face mask.
“It was humiliating," Chaya Bruck, of Brooklyn, told FOX 35 News.
Bruck was getting ready to take off from Orlando International Airport bound for Newark on Wednesday when a flight attendant approached her and said she would have to get off because her child would not keep a face mask on, which is required on all flights.
"It's not something we can excuse," the flight attendant is heard telling Bruck.
"Should I tie her hands? What should I do?" Bruck asks.
"We have to deplane," the flight attendant answers.
Bruck posted the video of the encounter on Facebook.
"Shame on you JetBlue for harassing me and kicking me off with my 6 children because my 2 year old wouldn’t cooperate and wear a mask," she wrote, calling the crew members 'bullies' that "treated me and my family inhumanly."
"You have traumatized my children and me for life and in fact violated Jetblue Air written policy posted on you’re website stating that young children who are unable to wear a mask are exempt."
In the video, several passengers can be heard coming to Bruck's defense.
“Leave her alone!” one woman yelled.
Bruck eventually got off the plane.
"They wouldn’t help me off the plane. I had my 2 suitcases on the bottom of plane that I paid for at check-in. I had to walk to a different terminal to book a flight on United."
She says her family flew out later in the day on a United Airlines flight and had no issues, "even though they have the same policy."
Bruck tells FOX 35 News that an executive from JetBlue called and apologized on Thursday morning and said they would be refunding the cost of her return flight.
According to the NY Daily News, JetBlue updated its police on Wednesday at 2 p.m., which referenced a timestamp on its website. The policy states that “all travelers 2 years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey.”
However, a spokesperson for JetBlue says the policy was actually updated on August 10 to include 2-year-olds.
"We've asked for them to correct allegations that we somehow retroactively went back and changed our policy online," a JetBlue spokesperson told FOX 35 News.
Regarding the incident, the airline sent this statement to FOX 35 News:
"During these unprecedented times, our first priority is to keep crewmembers and customers safe, and we’ve quickly introduced new safety policies and procedures throughout the pandemic. Specifically, our face covering policy was updated most recently on August 10 to ensure everyone is wearing a face covering – adults and children alike – to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 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.”
"Customers receive an email before their flight outlining the latest safety protocols and face covering policies. Our crewmembers are ready to assist customers in the airport and onboard who might need support. We have a flexible rebooking policy for those who are unable to meet this requirement, and customers who refuse to follow these standards after requests from crewmembers will be reviewed for further travel eligibility on JetBlue."
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