Since the start of this pandemic I have considerably cut down my movement because I was just trying to play it safe. This last Sunday I had to travel though due to moving in just a couple of weeks. I knew of course that airports and airlines had a ton of restrictions in place to try and keep people safe. I understand what and why they have to do it and wether of not I agree with it really doesn’t matter but during the first leg of my flight to DC something happened on the plane I could not wrap my head around.
My flight left Houston at 8:20 am and I think that is something that needs to be kept in mind. Once everyone had boarded the plane and we had been pushed back from the gate and cleared for takeoff the plane stopped before continuing down the runway. I initially chalked it up to some plane was landing or something and initially did not pay attention to the flight attendant roughly in the middle of the plan talking to a gentleman.
Given everything going on in the world I quickly guessed there was an issue with someone not wanting to wear a mask while in the air. However, the passenger was agreeing with the flight attendant and changed places with a lady to try and talk to this person I could not see in the middle row. After about 5-10 minutes of trying the pilot came on the intercom and told us the plan had to return to the gate because a passenger refused to wear a mask. What rapidly spread though out the plane though was it was not a regular passenger.
Who was this person who refused to wear a mask and ended up getting the whole family removed from the plane you might be wondering? It was a 3 year old little girl.
I try and be rational and approach an issue from all sides before judging a situation but this situation made absolutely no sense to me. Somehow the cutoff for not wearing a mask is 2 and below so since this girl was three her whole family had to deal with the fallout.
I would love someone to try and explain to me how a toddler who is not being loud or crying at 8:30 in the morning is supposed to understand this. No passenger reported this issue either it was a flight attendant who saw it and then stopped to make sure the mask was put on and kept on. At the age of 3 I know I did not understand viruses and their is no way my parents would have been able to keep a mask on me for hours upon hours.
My heart went out to this family who was just trying to get where they wanted to and had to suffer due to either a stupid FAA requirement or a stupid airline rule. At the age of 3 you do not know what’s best for you and when flying I just hope they don’t care and scream. You do not know better at that age and the passengers myself included got pretty upset with the attendants because of this silly but annoying move. If you are traveling no matter the occasion you are putting yourself at more of a risk for COVID but you accept this idea when you travel. Affecting a whole flight and embarrassing this poor family like was done was a far and sad over reach. There are so many other issues in the world that deserve more attention but instead precious time gets wasted instead on stuff like this.
I know masks can help some and it’s not like I am attacking the masks. You have to see who your audience/customers are here and a 3 year old is a pretty sad place to make a stand that at the end only made the flight crew look bad at the end of the day.