A woman was escorted off a JetBlue flight in handcuffs and a wheelchair after refusing to wear a mask, first claiming she was too afraid of flying and later claiming she could not keep it on due to menopause.
New Excuse Not To Wear Mask: Menopause + Fear Of Flying?
The incident, which occurred last month onboard a JetBlue flight in West Palm Beach (PBI), was broadcast on TikTok. It begins with a woman being wheeled off the aircraft by police. It then cuts back to what occurred onboard.
According to witnesses, the incident began shortly after boarding. Brooklyn DeGumbia, who streamed much of the interaction onboard, noted:
“When the flight attendant asked her to pull it up, she said she can’t wear it cause she’s nervous and this is her first time flying alone. The attendant said super politely, ‘If you can’t wear your mask you’re gonna have to get off the plane and we’ll find another solution.’ Then she said, ‘OK,’ and put her mask on — then five minutes later she took it down and then the attendant came back over.”
The cat and mouse game continued. After several confrontations, the passenger claimed she was expericining menopause and therefore could not keep the mask on. DeGumbia continued:
“So the attendant brought her water — and then she took it down again. Then medics came on and she said ‘I’m fine’ — then she took it down again and refused to get up when they asked her to get off — and during that time she was yelling she had it back on.”
Eventually, JetBlue emptied the aircraft, leaving the passenger and the police. Moments later she was seen proceeding from the jet bridge on a wheelchair.
Her antics caused a three-hour flight delay.
JetBlue placed the emphasis on medical reasons, which helps to explain why she carried off in a wheelchair, but seems to contradict the passenger account.
“On August 24th, JetBlue flight 1142 with scheduled service from West Palm Beach to Hartford was delayed before take-off when a customer appeared to be going in and out of consciousness shortly after boarding the aircraft. EMTs and law enforcement were requested and assisted the customer off the aircraft.”
The passenger’s face is covered by an upside yellow smiley face in the TikTok video, but it does appear she had no trouble keeping on her mask when the flight attendant was looking or speaking to her, thus undermining her argument that she could not wear one.
This is a case where I’d like to hear the passenger’s side of the story. While medical exemptions to the mask rule do exist, fear of flying and menopause are probably not two of the valid exceptions…
image: brooklyndegumbia / TikTok