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Friday, September 22, 2023

An American Airlines flight turns back over the Atlantic because of a passenger mask dispute

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After a passenger refused to wear a face mask on an American Airlines flight from Miami to London this week, the plane turned around and returned to the United States.

According to flight trackers, the flight took off at roughly 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday and landed 90 minutes later at Miami International Airport. The flight was rerouted to Miami, according to American Airlines spokesperson Curtis Blessing, “due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement.”  

Local law enforcement met the plane when it returned to the airport, according to Blessing.

According to a representative for the Miami-Dade Police Department, a woman in her 40s was removed off the plane after refusing to wear a face mask.

The woman has not been detained, and a department representative said the situation will be handled administratively by American Airlines.

The woman has been added to the airline’s roster of customers who are not permitted to fly, awaiting an inquiry.

There were no reported injuries as a result of the incident.

According to several reports, the flight was cancelled, and the passengers were rebooked on later flights. There were 129 passengers and 14 crew members on board the original flight.

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration requires travellers to wear face masks and coverings on aeroplanes, trains, and buses, as well as in airports and train stations.

Last month, President Joe Biden stated that the requirement will be extended until at least March 18.

Last year, the number of rowdy passenger events hit new highs. Nearly 6,000 reports of disruptive passengers were received by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2021, including 4,290 cases involving masks.

As of Tuesday, the FAA had received 151 reports of rowdy passengers this year, with 92 cases involving face masks.


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