A Spirit Airlines flight attendant and passenger engaged in a verbal battle over a neck gaiter bearing the American flag. The flight attendant insisted a neck gaiter was an inappropriate type of face covering and threatened to call the police. Meanwhile, the passenger suggested he was being targeted for wearing an American flag.
A Skirmish Over A Neck Gaiter On Spirit Airlines
In terms of describing what happened, there’s not much additional background needed beyond the video below:
BREAKING: @SpiritAirlines flight attendant calls police on man for “not wearing a mask” — REFUSES to acknowledge ‘American Flag’ mask, as a mask. pic.twitter.com/BtNW7L96LP
— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) September 18, 2020
Based on the video, it appears the flight attendant attempted to provide the passenger with an additional mask and he refused.
Some on the right are trying to make this about the American flag. But it seems the far more likely situation is that gaiters are simply not appropriate.
A Spirit Airlines spokesperson underscored that Spirit “proudly welcomes anyone onboard who wants to show their pride with an American flag on a face covering that complies with our policy,” but noted:
“Our flight attendants asked this guest to double up his American flag gaiter as required by our policy, and in line with CDC guidelines for dual-layered face coverings that hug the chin closely. He would have been welcome to keep wearing it like that, but he refused to follow the rules.”
Indeed, neck gaiters have been found to be worse than wearing no mask at all according to a Duke study. However, the flight attendant noted the CDC banned them and it actually has not. The Spirit spokesperson clarified:
“The CDC cautions that gaiters may not be effective, which is why we require Guests to either double up neck gaiters so they’re dual-layered and hug the chin, or to switch to a standard ear-loop face covering.”
Was there a political element involved in this as alleged? I find it hard to believe. For what purpose would a flight attendant engage in a needless confrontation? But in this case, I was not aware that neck gaiters (at last of the single-layer variety) are not permitted (they are on Southwest Airlines). Now I do…
It’s got nothing to do with health, and everything to do with rules — them setting them and you following them. Respect their authority, or else.
It’s also FA’s.
Wasn’t it last week that a PAX was deplaned (but not dragged off) for complaining about an FA not wearing a mask.
I was looking for an opportunity where I could do as Matthew did (TY napkin). But last flight I got the FAs that truly DGAF about PAX.
On a red-eye from ANC this week the FAs felt it was safe enough to de-mask – after the cabin lights were off.
It was mid-flight almost 4AM most PAX probably trying to sleep but FAs they were constantly checking for PAX and quicky pulling mask up and down off chin.
NO, they were not eating, just chatting away which was extremely annoying esp on a red-eye, if your trying to sleep and the FAs are louder than the cabin and engine noise and the chatter is keeping you awake.
I accept pilots on flight deck needing to clearly communicate with ATC so the aren’t allowed to wear masks. But FA’s?
What a [redacted by admin], [redacted by admin], as long as you got your face covered, his mask wasn’t even covered that much, so , he bv should be fired!!!
Flew round-trip ord mex zih with the same flag gator on United. No problem!
Neck gaiters don’t work…it’s simple.
I bet you didn’t actually read the study, or the retraction the scientists wrote to counter what the media reported. You probably didn’t even read the cherrypicked hatchet job the media did on said study. No, you read the click-bait title and made your decision. Maybe next time get info from all sides and make an INFORMED decision.
Definitely a political statement. The Leftwing hates US so much, it’s appalling.
Neither do masks, with pore sizes 300 nm in diameter and (so-called) virus particles at 125 nm diameter.
None of the masks people wear work and it’s not going to save you from anything. If it did then soany nurses and doctors wouldn’t have gotten sick with this virus. It’s totally ridiculous to even be wearing masks, gloves out in public. It’s got nothing to do with rules or someone should have said something before he got on the plane. They do have to check in at the gate and had he been told then it would have not been an issue. So another article I read on this said that they allow gaiters and this one says no. Make up your mind Spirit Airlines.
Let’s make the CV 19 argument about science and ditch the political jingoism. Patriotism really doesn’t matter, this is a world wide phenonenon. Grow up and wear a mask out of respect for your fellow citizens, we’re all Americans.
You sure have been drinking the indoctrination kool-aid. As a doctor for 40 years. These masks do very little with virus particles.
Of mask don’t work tell that do your dentist or doctor when they are performing surgery on you it’s a preventative measure seatbelts don’t work every time either but it’s a preventative measure I wear a surgical and the neck gaiter over it for sweating while working out so I wear two mask to prevent a problem.. that guy is and idiot he could’ve wore that on top of the surgical mask .. don’t be a hater if you love the country so much and you pledge the flag you should love your fellow Americans and shows one RESPECT
I flew on Spirit 2 weeks ago. When we checked our bag they told us neck gaiters were not allowed on the plane. Then when we got on the plane the announced it again. People just don’t want to follow the rules! This guys was not targeted because it was an American Flag. He was targeted because he thinks he can do whatever he wants. If you don’t want to follow the rules of the airline don’t fly or purchase a private flight.
nothing would have prevented this patriotic baby from wearing his gaiter over an appropriate mask
Surprised she didn’t kneel down in front of him as he was displaying the flag. Some people just have no respect for our nation’s banner and those who fought and died to defend it.
Passenger is a just a dick, that’s all there is to it. Nothing about politics at all here (other than one party actively encourages their lunatic followers to routinely act like douchebags, the fish rots from the head). It’s not complicated.
Only an disrespectful idiot would wear the flag as a mouth covering, bathing suit, bikini, etcetera. It is a shame that Murika has been so dumbed down that they cannot fathom basic flag etiquette. And the wannabe patriots are the worst offenders.
Exactly my thoughts. dry inappropriate flag etiquette!
“very” not “dry”
I’ve only seen one hue arguing about having to wear a mask or refusing to wear one at all. Everytime I’ve flew in this pandamic at least 8 times it’s always a hue that sunburns easily complaining about why they choose not to wear a mask pure ignorance and privilege at it’s finest like the woman really cared about the flag it’s about thinking you are above the rules. Don’t fly if you can’t comply.
The science behind masks is they cannot stop transmission of viruses. Next, The recirculation fans on the aircraft completely blend all air eventually. So every exhaled breath laden with viruses is mixed with everyone who breathes. The heapa filters cannot filter viruses.
We have NAZI’s making rules that have zero scientific basis. The National infection rate for covid 19 is 1/4 of normal seasonal influenzas. Every death has had comorbidity. The entire shutdown of the economy and destruction of the Airlines and small business in America is specifically a smoke screen and distraction while the 1% loot the carcas of the economy, and the Banks , Wall Street and destroy the financial markets.
Get ready for the Global RESET.
Armed and ready to RESET!
That was my first thought when I read the title.
Do us a favor, take your hot conspiracy garbage to QAnon Reddit and stay off the travel blogs…SMFH with this trash
Right! You shouldn’t have to put up with that nonsense! You shouldn’t have to complain to strangers online about it and could resolve it by leaving the country.
So much false news. HEPA filters can and do filter all sorts of viruses, including COVID.
There is more than adequate scientific proof that cloth masks reduce the spread of viruses. No valid scientific source claims these masks filter the COVID virus; what they have been proven to do is reduce the number of droplets dispersed through the air, and thus reduce the spread of the virus.
And finally, the air in the cabin isn’t all blended and recirculated. In fact the air on planes ibuilding. and fresher than in the average office buildimg.
Believe whatever nonsense you want, but please stop spreading lies.
Why are the airlines so cheap that they don’t run the APU (Aux Power Unit) to power HVAC for boarding/deplaning.
The time when pax breaths per minute is much higher while active vs passively sitting.
Only one of my last four flights had the HVAC moving air on while plane was at the gate. 737’s with air nozzles (yes, I checked to make sure they were open). HEPA filter only work if they are actively moving air.
“Some on the right are trying to make this about the American flag”…
Matt I really love your articles but I think that was way out of left field. It’s really a sad day when you wear a flag pin, fly a flag etc. everyone automatically has you labeled as a Trumpster or you’re a part of “some on the right “
The bigger issue is the guy should’ve been a mask. That’s the rules. End of story .
Check the right wing Twitterverse and see what they are saying about this. They’re making it a flag issue. I don’t think there was politics involved, but it would have been improper not to at least mention it.
I’m not a Twitter guy so I’ll take your word for it. And that’s just so sad.
Same Anti American airline who removed a passenger for saying All Lives Matter,
Just flew with gaiter and no problems anywhere.
I don’t like Spirit but they are right.
There is no longer a shortage of disposable surgical masks. ALL people should wear them. Flimsy cloth masks, which have gaps on the right and left of the nose, is no different from being a Covid killer or axe murderer.
People! Buy a surgical mask. A box of 50 is cheap. (N95 masks are not supposed to be in surplus until late December or early January so ok to save them for doctors and hospitals)
it happen to us iPad mask on but my nose wasn’t covered because I had open heart surgery this jerk wouldn’t stop he shook my wife in a dead sleep what an a**hole he had problems with everybody on plane the h*ll with sprint
How nice, a coherent and well-written response to this article with no spelling or grammar errors. NOT!! BTW: what has “sprint” to do with anything???
It appears that most Trumpsters are on meth when they write on this blog.
In England they are referred to as face coverings. They even have articles in the newspapers on how to make them yourself. Old T-shirts etc.
I flew back to the States on BA and they seemed quite happy with my table napkin that was tied behind my head. It was doubled though.
Should have been arrested and charged with endangerment. These creeps are appearing all over the world. Six months in prison sounds fair.
Considering the amount of “Stars & Stripes” bikinis and similar “underwear” with the US flag on it, I hardly find this inappropriate… Then again, here in Norway we have pretty clear laws regulating what a flag can and can’t be used for (and making clothing from it is not one of them)… 😉
As for the effectiveness of using it as a face-mask, it’s a lot more effective than not using anything, and it really boils down to whether Spirit requires *medical grade* face-masks (which this isn’t), or just a face-mask. Wording really counts here (in legal discussions).
I flew AA over Labor Day wearing a gaiter and it wasn’t a problem – several others were as well. I thought the gaiter study had been retracted or at least misreported.
As far as the offensiveness of “wearing the flag,” that applies literally to actual flags. There is nothing wrong with wearing patterns or stylized designs that invoke the Colors or elements of the flag and show patriotism.
We fly SWA twice a month for work (SJC/PHX) and the pre-flight announcements as of September are NO Gaitor or vented type masks allowed. The FA’s have SWA masks to provide to those passengers who cannot comply with those rules.
Also since August… and I knew it was coming.. NO tiny single serve “spirit” bottles allowed.. against FAA regulations. Always a chuckle when that is announced.
What the guy should have done to test them out would have been to say “sure, I will wear the face mask that you provide, BUT I will wear the gaiter over the mask. Ya gotta problem with that?’
Masks don’t work, period. Where are the critical thinkers??? If masks worked why are numbers increasing everywhere despite the forced mask wearing?? Answer: The average person wants to be controlled by fear. Guess I’m not an average person.
It has NOTHING to do with the American flag. It’s simply the policies and if they can’t follow, they shouldn’t be flying. Simple.