Bahamas flight canceled after high school students staged mask rebellion, airline says – KIRO 7 news Seattle
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – A flight to the Bahamas was canceled on Monday after a group of high school passengers refused to wear masks.
American Airlines Flight 893 was scheduled to depart Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 9:30 a.m. for Nassau, Bahamas. The enraged passengers told the WSOC, however, that mechanical issues forced a plane change followed by the Mask Rebellion that left them stranded in Queen City overnight.
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“Some people’s vacations are ruined. They were only going for a few nights. Now they have to change their reservation, ”passenger Stephanie Krzywanski told the TV station.
The airline confirmed to NBC News that the delay was due to passengers not wearing face coverings and then “becoming disruptive to other customers and refusing to follow instructions from crew members on board.”
“By procedure, the clients involved were asked to exit the plane. We expect our customers to comply with our policies when choosing to travel with us, and we take action when they do not, ”said American Airlines.
The students’ “disruptive” behavior was confirmed by at least one passenger, Malik Banks, who was seated next to the group of more than 30 students.
“It was bad. First they were screaming. They were cursing. They were very obnoxious,” Banks told the WSOC, adding, “It wasn’t all. I’d say 75% to 80% of them were terrible kids, saying smart things.
Christina Randolph, a passenger whose vacation will now be shortened by one day because of the mess, lamented the lack of consideration and decorum shown by the group of high school students.
“All they had to do was follow the rules, put on the mask, sit there. No smart comments. And they couldn’t do it, ”Randolph told the WSOC.
“I’m a nurse, and it’s really, really hard to take time off from work, so when you finally have some free time you really want to be somewhere you want to be,” she added.
Breakaway Beach, the student travel agency that welcomes the group of 47 Boston-area high school graduates aboard Flight 893, blamed the cancellation on American, citing a change in crew members, NBC reported News.
The company said in a statement that some of the students “may have removed” their masks due to “unbearable conditions” during the flight’s two-hour mechanical delay. Breakaway Beach also admitted that a person associated with the group of students was escorted off the plane.
“The actions of this passenger resulted in the entire group of graduates being labeled ‘unruly’ or ‘disruptive’,” Breakaway Beach said in its statement.
The company also told NBC News that American Airlines ultimately delayed the flight by a day because a replacement pilot could not be found after passengers were forced to change planes.
“The act of an individual is not the responsibility of others, and students who played by the rules should not have undergone this type of treatment. The group was treated inappropriately and too harshly, causing unnecessary stress and aggravation for travelers and their relatives from afar, ”Breakaway Beach told the network.
The company also said American Airlines refused to provide members of its student group with food and accommodation vouchers during the delay due to the incident.
NBC News confirmed that the airline cleared the entire group on Tuesday morning’s flight after they all agreed to wear their masks.
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