A Brooklyn mother traveling with six children from Orlando to New York was kicked off a JetBlue flight on Wednesday because her 2-year-old would not wear a face mask as required. Videos of the mother, Chaya Bruck, speaking with a flight attendant before the plane took off have been shared widely on social media.
A video posted on social media shows Bruck talking to a flight attendant about her daughter not wearing a mask. “You realize she’s 2?” Bruck says.
“I do, and also, it’s not something we can excuse,” the flight attendant responds in the video.
“So should I tie her hands? What should I do?” Bruck asks the flight attendant in the video. The toddler sitting next to her appears to be visibly uncomfortable by the arguing.
JetBlue told CBS News that Bruck told a flight attendant her child was not going to wear a mask. The doors of the flight were still open and the flight attendant followed procedure by calling a JetBlue airport supervisor to handle the situation.
Videos of the incident show fellow passengers becoming frustrated, many of them coming to Bruck’s defense, saying the 2-year-old should be excused for not keeping the mask on. JetBlue said the cabin became boisterous and a decision to deboard the plan was made. The mother also verbally refused to get off the aircraft, according to JetBlue.
In a statement to CBS News, the airline said its mask policy was updated on August 10. It states that “all travelers 2 years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey, including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning.”
“Customers receive an email before their flight outlining the latest safety protocols and face covering policies. Our crewmembers are ready to assist customers in the airport and onboard who might need support,” the statement says. “We have a flexible rebooking policy for those who are unable to meet this requirement, and customers who refuse to follow these standards after requests from crewmembers will be reviewed for further travel eligibility on JetBlue.”
Mask mandates in many cities, including New York City, often include the same rules – anyone over the age of two must wear a mask in public when social distancing is not possible.
Still, many felt the 2-year-old should’ve been excused for not being able to keep her mask on.
In an interview with Inside Edition, a ViacomCBS property, Bruck said the incident was “extremely overwhelming and traumatizing.”
The flight was delayed for 53 minutes during the ordeal, JetBlue said.
In addition to Bruck and her family, another party was not allowed back on.
Chardette Poinsette, another mother from Brooklyn who posted video of the incident, said she was also flying with a 2-year-old and stood up for Bruck because she understood what she was going through with her toddler. “I felt really bad for her,” Poinsette told CBS News via message.
Poinsette said her family was also removed from that flight and was told it was because they didn’t have masks on. “But only my 2-year-old didn’t have one on because he was eating french fries,” she told CBS News.
“I had to book all new flights with Spirit to get home,” she said.