Now we’ve seen it all…a Southwest Airlines flight attendant actually instructed a mother to use glue to secure a mask on the face of her two-year-old, at least according to the horrified mother. She even said she had a glue stick available. Why not just offer a stapler?
Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Suggests Glue To Secure Mask On Two-Year-Old, Offers Glue Stick
Masks are annoying, but they buy us time…proper masks help to slow the spread of the virus, which keeps hospital beds open and gives us a greater chance to vaccinate more people.
But every decision we make in life boils down to a risk-benefit analysis and I’ve long denounced the militant manner in which Southwest Airlines has enforced the federal mask mandate for two-year-old children.
(In Southwest’s defense, it claims it is just enforcing the rules, though I think there is some legal wiggle room…)
Children are a low risk and asking every two-year-old to keep on that mask is simply unreasonable…but let’s not beat a dead horse.
Today’s twist occurred on a Southwest Airlines flight from Orlando (MCO) to Norfolk, Virginia (ORF). On August 12th, Ali Cleek and her husband were traveling with their four-year-old and two-year-old. While Creek did not have any trouble keeping a mask on Drew, their two-year-old, on the outbound journey, she would not keep her mask above his nose for the return.
On Instagram, Creek noted:
“Drew is a thumb sucker and her only way she biologically knows how to soothe herself is by sucking her thumb which is damn near impossible with a mask.”
When Drew would not keep her mask on, two flight attendants stood over her with one advising Creek to “glue it to her face” and even offering a glue stick!
While that may seem like dry sarcasm, Creek suggested that the flight attendant was being serious and could not care less that both mother and child were crying.
Creek’s story has made headlines and she now has confirmed that Southwest called her and offered her an apology, saying it would counsel the flight crew.
Officially, however, Southwest only released this statement:
“The federal mask mandate for travelers has been in effect since February 2, 2021 and requires all passengers over the age of two to wear a mask at all times throughout the travel journey. We appreciate the ongoing cooperation among our customers as we work, collectively, to follow the federal mandate and support the comfort and wellbeing of all who travel with us during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a note, customers are reminded of the federal mask mandate multiple times prior to travel. Southwest provides reminders during the booking process on our website; in pre-trip emails sent to customers prior to departure; and as a part of a customer’s Health Declaration Form that must be acknowledged during the check-in process on the Southwest app, Southwest.com, Southwest’s mobile website, and airport kiosks.”
Sounds like nothing will change.
Whether in Kabul or Orlando, a little compassion goes a long way. Sometimes there are greater concerns than wearing a mask, which does nothing to diminish the importance of masks. Families should not be forced to drive because their two-year-olds cannot keep a mask on. Furthermore, flight attendants (of all people) should realize how difficult it is to travel with young children and pour on the empathy, not the sarcasm and threats in difficult situations.
(H/T: View From The Wing)