Things are tense in America at the moment, but can you blame us? Things are ostensibly stressful at the moment, what with the coronavirus pandemic, the apparent second Civil War coming, murder hornets, and even a presidential election on the horizon. Everyone has every right to be just a twinge testy.
And, when it comes to air travel, cranky human beings are simply a part of the equation to begin with. When you start adding in the rest of the 2020-specific concerns, the airport starts to feel like some lower level of hades itself.
Perhaps some of this innate stress had an effect on the moods of particularly American Airlines flight this week.
Pro-Trump activist Brandon Straka was removed from an American Airlines flight for refusing to wear a mask in an incident caught on video by New York Times reporter Astead Herndon on Wednesday.
The ejection on a flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Fort-Worth occurred Wednesday morning and was recorded by Herndon, who serves as a Times national political reporter and CNN political analyst.
So, what happened?
“Sir, are you wishing not to wear a mask today?” a flight attendant asked Straka
“I would prefer not to,” Straka replied before later adding, “You’re asking me to do something that’s not a law.”
The flight attendant responded by explaining that the request is part of a “procedure American Airlines follows.”
Straka then attempted to brush off the request from the attendant by stating that he had only “a medical condition”, but without specifying what that meant.
Straka was soon escorted off of the flight.
While many have claimed that they cannot be forced to wear a mask by any official agency, there has been plenty of confusion about the right of businesses to refuse service to would-be patrons on account of their stance on masks. Which, for all intents and purposes, might as well be their stance on the requirement to wear pants in their establishments.