What happened to one couple who were refused service by United Airlines because their two-year-old child was removed from a flight for not wearing a face mask? Thanks to a podcaster, the pair went on their trip anyways – with an upgrade to first class.
After a Colorado couple say they were removed from a flight because a United Airlines attendant said their two-year-old child was not wearing a face mask, the two decided to go on their vacation anyways without the toddler. In a series of social media posts, personal trainer Eliz Orban shared their story of “humiliation,” and the justification for completing the trip.
Family Claims They “Tried Everything” Before Being Removed, Later Decided to Complete the Trip
The incident took place aboard a United flight on Dec. 11, 2020. In a two-minute video, an emotional Orban claims her family was escorted off their flight by a gate supervisor, because their two-year-old was not wearing a face covering secured by ear loops. She claims all of her luggage and the child’s car seat was not removed from the aircraft, and ultimately sent to New York.
Today we got kicked off of a United flight going from Denver to Newark because our 2yo would not “comply” and keep her mask on. Go see the full IGTV on my Instagram @elizfulop pic.twitter.com/KXCICsBSMj
— Eliz Orban (@elizfulop) December 12, 2020
During an interview with Fox News, Orban claims that she is a United MileagePlus Premier elite, and has flown with their child during the pandemic. She claims that she was singled out by the flight crew, describing her treatment as “traumatizing” and “very humiliating.”
“We’ve just flown two months ago because all of our family lives on the East Coast, so this is the only way for them to see their granddaughter,” Orban said during an interview with Fox News. “And this time was just extremely different.”
Although Orban and her husband were rebuked by United, they ultimately decided to take a trip anyways. Thanking a podcaster on an Instagram post dated Dec. 16, 2020, she announced the couple would ultimately travel to Palm Beach, Florida on Delta Air Lines in the first class cabin – but without the child.
View this post on Instagram
“Our daughter is in the best hands at home, and as hard as it is that she’s not here, knowing how much love she is surrounded by gives us so much peace,” Orban wrote on her Instagram post. “We couldn’t bear to take her through what we went through again.”
Orban said she couldn’t “disclose all the reasons we had to get down to Palm Beach,” but noted it was potentially for future projects. She closed her note calling out those who doubted her decision to travel.
“And for all the people calling us morons for traveling in a pandemic, please slide to the next picture posted BY United [on her Instagram story] and remember there are hundreds of thousands of people flying every single day,” she writes. “But if it makes you happy to single us out, then whatever floats your boat.”
Travel Decision Comes as Airlines Continue to Fight with Families over Face Coverings
Orban’s story isn’t the first time families have clashed with airlines over face mask policies. In August 2020, a family cried foul against Southwest Airlines after they claim the flight crew removed them because their toddler with autism and sensory processing disorders refused to wear a face covering. By September 2020, another family expressed their frustration with the policies, calling for airlines to loosen face mask requirements for toddlers.
In a statement to Fox News, United noted that the family was not banned from flying with the airline, and their policy of requiring everyone two and older to wear a face covering is “consistent across every major airline.”
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