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Couple in viral video kicked off JetBlue flight over refusal to wear masks, berating staff, airline says

Written by on September 13, 2021

A couple captured on video berating and arguing with JetBlue flight attendants were kicked off a San Diego-bound aircraft last week over their refusal to wear masks, the airline said. 

In a widely circulated video, a man is seen yelling and getting physical with a flight crew member on flight B6 529 as he was asked to exit the aircraft in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The incident occurred on Sept.8 and was captured by another passenger. 

“You gave me one [expletive] warning. I pulled [the face mask] up the second he said something,” the man yells. “The second he said something I pulled it over my nose.”

‘UNRULY’ PASSENGER CAUSES AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT TO STOP IN SEATTLE 

The video then pans over to a female arguing with another flight attendant. She is wearing a mask at the time when she walks down the aisle and pulls it down to talk to another passenger. 

“They’re kicking us off and I don’t know why,” she says. “We’re Americans. It fell off his face and he apologized and fixed it. It wasn’t good enough for them.”

The couple eventually exits the plane, prompting the other passengers to applaud. 

The passenger who recorded the encounter, Alice Runkevich, told Storyful the flight was delayed for three hours and that the incident happened as the plane was on the tarmac, FOX TV stations reported. 

In a statement, JetBlue said the two travelers were asked “multiple times but would not comply with the federal mask mandate.”

“Eventually the customers were asked to leave the aircraft at which time one customer became verbally and physically aggressive toward crewmembers before eventually exiting the aircraft,” the airline told FOX Television Stations. “The customers will not be allowed to fly JetBlue in the future.”

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The incident adds to a long list of similar instances in which airline passengers have tussled with their fellow travelers and flight staff. In August, a man was taped to the seat of a Frontier Airlines plane after he allegedly punched a male flight attendant and inappropriately touched two female flight attendants. 

An allegedly belligerent passenger on a flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City was issued a citation for public intoxication on Labor Day after he was seen growling at other travelers and shouting “Joe Biden, really?” on the aircraft. 

Last month, the Transportation Security Administration extended the face mask requirement across several modes of transportation, including commercial aircraft, through Jan. 18, 2022. In response to disruptive and violent behavior by some, the agency recently announced it will double fines that can be imposed on those who violate the mask requirement. 

From Jan. 1 through mid-August, the Federal Aviation Administration said it received 3,889 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including 2,867 reports of people refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate. 

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