Monday, July 13

The Margin: ‘Former liberal’ kicked off flight for refusing to wear mask — a New York Times reporter recorded the incident

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We got another mask-denier making a statement.

Brandon Straka, a conservative activist and a Trump supporter with a big social-media following, was removed from an America Airlines flight this week after he refused to wear a mask.

Here he is explaining his “absolutely insane” version of the story:

American Airlines AAL, -2.88% , which reiterated its policy on Monday that all passengers need to wear a face mask when on board one of their flights, confirmed the incident.

“After he refused to comply with the instructions provided by the flight crew, our team members asked him to deplane,” the airline said in a statement. “He deplaned and the flight departed the gate four minutes late at 12:34 p.m. Eastern Time.”

Also: United, other major airlines tell passengers to wear face masks or risk getting banned

On Thursday, the airline said it has banned the passenger, after reviewing the incident. “We expect customers who choose to fly with us to comply with these policies, and if necessary, we will deny future travel for customers who refuse to do so,” American said.

The law does not mandate wearing masks, but airlines have instituted their own mask requirements for crew and passengers, and American Airlines, as well as several other carriers, have pledged to take a harder line on enforcing their policies, CNN reported.

Read:Costco shopper gets bounced for not wearing a mask

A New York Times reporter captured some of the testy exchange, which includes two passengers telling Straka to get off the plane so they could resume their travels.

Straka, who describes himself as “former liberal… on a mission to #RedPill humanity” and has appeared on Fox News, was rebooked on a later flight after he agreed to comply.

The story, of course, blew up on social media, with Straka addressing many of his critics:

Source: MarketWatch

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