20 family members removed from flight after alleged mask violation

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 12:20 AM MST
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SALT LAKE CITY (KSL) - American Airlines says a family of 20 was asked to deboard a flight bound for Dallas after they didn’t comply with the company’s policy on face coverings.

The Wilson family says they are still confused about the Sunday incident in Salt Lake City. Scott Wilson says the only warning they received was a quick interaction when the 20 family members – 10 adults and 10 children, the kids between the ages of 3 to 13 – boarded.

“I didn’t really see who it was, but somebody said, ‘Hey, keep your mask up.’ Anyways, I dropped everything and moved it up and picked my stuff up and made our way to the back,” he said.

When the family finally got to their seats, a gate agent approached them, saying all 20 family members needed to leave the plane. The gate agent asked them several times, insisting the captain of the flight crew needed them off.

“We were blown away. I mean, blown away,” Wilson said.

The family left as other passengers chimed in to stick up for them.

“There was actually a couple families around us that stood up and were like, ‘This is wrong. That guy is being a jerk. He was yelling at other people as they came on, too, and he was already mad. These guys didn’t do anything,’” Wilson said.

The Wilsons were split up and rebooked, eventually making it to Hawaii that same day. They say it was thanks to gracious gate agents who were on their side.

“They were livid. They were mad at this guy. They said, ‘He is the one with the problem. You guys did nothing wrong. We’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve never had a situation like this, and he was totally in the wrong by doing what he did,’” Wilson said.

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