Passengers aboard an American Airlines flight to the Bahamas spent an unexpected night in Charlotte, North Carolina, after troubled passengers refused to abide by a federal mask mandate.
The incident – which occurred during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year – is only the latest involving passengers refusing to comply with safety measures on board aircraft during.
The disruptive group of about 30 high school students from Boston caught a connecting flight in Charlotte to Nassau, according to local media outlet WSOC-TV. The plane was originally scheduled to leave Charlotte around 6 p.m. 9:30 a.m. Monday, but was delayed due to a mechanical problem and switched to another aircraft, WSOC-TV reported.
According to American, Flight 893 was preparing to depart as the group ignored several reminders from crew members about the face-covering policy and became disruptive to other customers. The passengers involved were asked to leave the plane, a spokesman for the airline CBS MoneyWatch said in an email.
All passengers on board the plane received hotel vouchers, with the flight delayed overnight before traveling to Nassau on Tuesday morning. Those who had refused to wear face masks eventually agreed to abide by the policy and were allowed to continue their journey aboard another flight.
One passenger, Christina Randolph, was waiting for the experience. “All they had to do was follow the rules, put on the mask, sit there. No smart mouth comments. And they couldn̵
The rise inon the part of some air travelers on behalf of flight attendants who have been physically attacked by passengers for asking them to comply with the rules, including wearing a seat belt.
“This past weekend, one of our flight attendants was seriously attacked, resulting in facial injuries and the loss of two teeth,” TWU Local 556 President Lyn Montgomery wrote on May 24 in a letter to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.
The Federal Aviation Administration has received more than 3,000 reportssince the beginning of the year. More than 2,300 of these reports involve passengers refusing to wear masks.
The Transportation Security Administration in late April extended its requirement for face masks at airports on commercial aircraft, buses and commuter rail systems until 13 September.