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On September 12, Delta Air Lines flight 201, bound from Detroit to Los Angeles, returned to the gate at Metro Airport to offload a passenger who refused to wear a mask.
"The customer was removed from the plane and the flight departed without incident, about 30 minutes late, at 8:56 p.m." Kristin Seay, a Delta spokeswoman, told Deadline Detroit this morning.
"Delta requires masks on every flight for the safety of our customers and crew." The airline also mandates the wearing of face coverings in the airport lobby check-in area, Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gates and jet bridges.
The mother of Alexis Wiley, chief of staff for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, happened to be on the flight.
Wiley tweeted news of the incident last night, saying, "My mom's @Delta flight from Detroit to LA just turned around and went back to the gate because a passenger refused to wear a mask. Flight attendants announced masks are non-negotiable! Thank you @Delta for putting passenger safety first!"
This is just the latest in a string of occurrences in which anti-maskers have caused flight delays by refusing to adhere to airline policies regarding the wearing of face coverings amid the pandemic.
Last week, a September 9 American Airlines flight 1024 from Chicago to Los Angeles was held up for over an hour and a half because one passenger refused to wear her mask onboard, Newsweek uncovered.
Apparently, the unidentified anti-masker was uncooperative with the staff's attempts to remove him/her, at which point fellow passengers joined in the effort, yelling, "Get off the plane," and, "There are other people on this plane, not just you."
"Prior to departure, the customer was asked to exit the aircraft if they would not comply with the face-covering requirement, per company policy," an AA spokesperson told Fox5 in a statement. "The customer became disruptive and was met by law enforcement upon exiting the aircraft. The flight departed for LAX thereafter."
The unruly customer was reportedly placed on American Airlines' internal list of those whose flying privileges are suspended, pending further investigation.
Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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