Spirit Airlines flight attendant and passenger clash over demand to change American flag face gaiter

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An airline passenger and a flight attendant got into a “spirited” debate about whether wearing an American flag neck gaiter constitutes a CDC-approved face mask.

According to the flight attendant in the incident that occurred on a Spirit Airlines flight, the facial covering in question was non-compliant with purported Centers for Disease Control regulations (after first wanting to know what was “underneath” the gaiter.)

In the video embedded clip below, the neck-gaiter-wearing passenger expressed skepticism about the flight attendant’s premise and responded by saying “show me those rules.”

“I don’t have to show you the rules,” the attendant replied.

“I don’t have to wear the mask that you gave me; I’m wearing the mask that I have,” the passenger insisted. “I’ve literally been on 20 flights with this same exact mask.”

They did reach agreement on one thing, however. They were both “done talking.”



The flight attendant concluded the exchange by warning the passenger that the authorities would be waiting for him when the plane landed. It’s not clear, however, if police actually arrested him after the plane touched down.

In a statement to Fox News, the air carrier denied that the American flag pattern played a role in the dispute. “Instead, the spokesperson stated that this came down to an issue about health and safety procedures. Additionally, the flight attendant was concerned about the gaiter not including at least two layers of cloth, per the Spirit Airlines’ policy stated on its website.”

“Our flight attendants asked the guest in this video to double up his gaiter. When he refused, they offered him an ear-loop mask to place under his gaiter, and he refused that option, too,” Spirit claimed.

In a tweet, Spirit Airlines added that “Safety is Spirit Airlines’ first priority. The CDC cautions that gaiters may not be effective, and we require Guests to double up gaiters so they’re dual-layered. We welcome Guests who want to show their pride with an American flag on a face covering that meets with our policy.”

On its website, Spirit explains that “All face coverings must fit snugly cover the nose and mouth and be secure under the chin and have at least two layers of fabric (e.g. disposable non-medical face mask, multi-layered cloth face covering).”

Unlike other airlines, Spirit doesn’t allow any medical exemptions from its face mask policy.

Twitter users chimed in on the argumentative encounter. Here is just a sample:



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