In multiple appearances on Fox News, the mother and father of the two-year-old girl who was ejected from a United Airlines flight for failing to wear a mask placed the blame on a lack of empathy from flight attendants.
Parents Blame United Flight Attendants For Ejection Of Two-Year-Old
For some background on the incident, see my post from yesterday.
The Orban family was traveling from Denver to Newark on United and their daughter was removed for failing to keep her mask on (and thus, they were all removed).
Of interest to me was their (alleged) interaction with flight attendants. Eliz Orban shared:
“The moment that we walked upon the plane, the flight attendant asked, ‘How old is she?’ Like, no good morning no how are you, just how old is she? And she said she’ll have to wear a mask.”
The Orbans did not take it seriously, at first. Based on their past experience, they thought the flight attendant was joking. But the FA re-affirmed:
“NO, She’s going to have to wear a mask.”
They did not even have a mask for her. A flight attendant gave them one, but adult-sized masks are even more difficult to keep on than kid-sized masks. It is no wonder the little girl refused.
According to the Orbans, the FAs then refused to speak to the family again, though they did circle them like sharks until a member of ground staff came onboard to remove them.
The family also complained the flight was not full and they could have taken a row or two in the back away from other passengers if the mask issue was such a problem.
Note, the Orbans also confirm that United delayed their flight further to pull their car seat off because they had a two-hour drive home.
Finally, Eliz Orban alleged on Fox & Friends that their flight occurred on the same day an Instagrammer with 2 million followers livestreamed her flight from Denver on United with her two-year-old, who was not asked to wear a mask. Thus far, I have been unable to independently confirm that.
I have to smile at the optics of this situation. Cute little girl. Cute couple. No wonder the media just ate this up. Her video now has over 5 million views on Twitter and millions more on Instagram.
Personally, I can understand and empathize with their desire to travel to New York to visit grandparents, but not to go ice skating in Rockefeller Plaza…at least not now. But their cringeworthy reason for travel must be separated from what occurred onboard. As the complete story emerges, I understand that flight attendants were just following policy. At the same time, this is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post on Scott Kirby’s leadership role at United.
No passenger should be barked at onboard. I would be ticked off too if instead of greeting me kindly, a flight attendant snapped at me as I boarded. These rude and ungrateful flight attendants should have no place in the skies. It was not wrong to remind the Orban family that a mask was required for their little one. It was wrong to snap at them, then demand that ground staff remove them, circle them like vultures, but refuse to speak to them. That’s the greater systemic problem to me than a little girl not wearing a mask…
Furthermore, if a two-year-old was allowed to fly without a mask just a few gates away, it really speaks to the inconsistency in which this policy is applied.
Flight attendants, is this what happened onboard? I’d love to hear your side of the story. Please reach out to me if you have a different recollection of what occurred.