A conservative activist who refused to follow the “American” way will have to find another airline.
American Airlines banned Brandon Straka, who was yanked off a flight at LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday for not wearing a mask.
“American Airlines thoroughly reviewed an incident on June 17 involving one of our customers, Brandon Straka,” the airline told the Daily News in an emailed statement. “As a result of this review, Mr. Straka will not be permitted to fly American, as he failed to comply with our stated policy and crewmember instructions.”
Straka was on a flight from LaGuardia to Dallas/Fort Worth but refused to wear a face covering.
"After he refused to comply with the instructions provided by the flight crew, our team members asked him to deplane,” the airline said in a statement Thursday. “He deplaned and the flight departed the gate four minutes late at 12:34 p.m. ET.”
American is one of numerous airlines that introduced a policy requiring passengers to wear a face covering due to the coronavirus pandemic. There is not a federal requirement regarding the matter.
Straka, a conservative activist, posted about the situation on social media.
“I was just removed from my flight for not wearing a mask,” Straka tweeted Wednesday. “1st time this has happened. Not a federal law. @AmericanAir staff standing over me telling me it’s THE LAW. So much for ‘please respect those who can not wear a mask’. When I pointed out this wasn’t a law I was removed.”
Straka then said in a video that he wasn’t asked while on the plane whether he has a condition that would prevent him from wearing a mask, and claimed that the flight’s manager told him afterward that the staff didn’t have the right to ask him.
Meanwhile, a reporter for The New York Times tweeted that he was on the flight and shared his account as to what happened.
“He said you never even asked me if I had a condition that makes me incapable of wearing a mask,” wrote Astead Herndon. “The flight attendant was like well do you. He said yes. She asked if he had paperwork and he said no.”
The airline was standing firm on Thursday.
“We are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our customers and team members, which is why we strengthened enforcement of our policy for required face coverings on board,” the airline told The News. “We expect customers who choose to fly with us to comply with these policies, and if necessary, we will deny future travel for customers who refuse to do so. Restricting travel is a step we take very seriously, and it will only occur after a comprehensive review of the facts of an incident. Mr. Straka will be permitted to fly with us once face coverings are no longer required for customers.”