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Couple Removed from Flight for Two-Year-Old Not Wearing a Face Mask, But Travels Anyways

Couple Removed from Flight for Two-Year-Old Not Wearing a Face Mask, But Travels Anyways
Joe Cortez

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 after all – 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 after all 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.

 

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.

 

“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.”

View Comments (21)

21 Comments

  1. TravellingITGuy

    December 28, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Here’s the answer. Anyone aged two and up needs to wear a mask. Deal with it.

  2. alangore

    alangore

    December 29, 2020 at 4:57 am

    I’m totally in favor of requiring masks for flying, but how many masked two-year-olds do you see? Most of the 4-year-olds are masked, but it’s hard to keep a mask on a 2-year-old who does not understand that’s going on. This is why airlines draw the line at that age. But is it right to ruin a family’s vacation because the child that will not keep his mask on is a little past his second birthday?

    I was hoping that the pandemic collapse of travel demand would put an end to the nitpicking, but fat chance.

  3. dhturk

    December 29, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Apparently this woman (couple?) are scientists with a new theory on the earths rotation. Instead of revolving around the sun, they believe that it revolves around them!

  4. Jack Simpson

    December 29, 2020 at 7:45 am

    The center of attention.

  5. Counsellor

    December 29, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Despite the studies that consistently show no benefit from wearing face diapers, the airlines “insist”. Suggest we take Robert Heinlein’s advice — his character, Lazarus Long, remarked that when he visited a primitive tribe which rubbed blue mud in their navels to propitiate the local “Gods”, even though he was not superstitious he would rub blue mud in his navel so as to fit in.

  6. MRM

    December 29, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Counsellor: LOL! Love comments about tribal mud in airline articles.

    dhturk: Perfectly said!

    These two self-absorbed, pretentious, entitled and just plain spoiled millennial idiots shouldn’t have had a single word written about their own stupidity. People feeling sorry for them must have a much different viewpoint on the world than most of the rest of us. These are the type of people that will end up broke and living at home someday and wonder how they ended up there.

  7. Mediaink

    December 29, 2020 at 10:14 am

    WHO CARES? With everything that is happening right now, this woman’s tiny drama is the last piece of “news” I care about.

  8. MEaton

    December 29, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I believe it is Dr Fauci that insists that we wear masks (yes, even 2yo) NOT “the airlines”. And the airlines aren’t being the “Bad Guy”, they are protecting the 200 OTHER people on the flight, all breathing the same air! Please try and convince anyone reading your post, that you practiced wearing the mask with your little Princess at home. 300,00 people have died from this virus, how would you feel if someone on that flight died from COVID because your little one “accidently” sneezed on another passenger? Can the deceased passenger’s family sure you? Get real. These are the rules we have to live by under these extraordinary times. And – apparently you really didn’t even need to travel with a little one who hasn’t been trained to wear a mask… Get with the program.

  9. 757FO

    December 29, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Selfish and a bit pathetic they are.

  10. Gizzabreak

    December 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    If airlines are going to make ‘exceptions’ they should at least screen and curtain off an ‘exceptions’ section (say) at the back of economy. No further ‘exceptions’ classes would be required because those booking an ‘exceptions’ seat would be limited to the one designated area. Need ‘exception’ but only ‘non exception’ seats left? Tough luck, stay home, book earlier next time. As for the ‘masks don’t work’ theorists … too bad governments, public health authorises, airlines (etc, ad infinitum) don’t shout a little louder that it’s NOT about ‘protecting YOU from US’ and ALL about ‘protecting US from YOU’.

  11. vargha

    December 30, 2020 at 4:47 am

    The level of fear from most of the people commenting here about a virus that affects predominantly the elderly and/or those in poor health, as well as their sheepish willingness to do whatever the “authorities” are telling them this week is quite disheartening.

  12. toxman

    December 30, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Wow what a sense of entitlement. Probably a couple of millennials with a whole shelf of participation trophies. Why the hell were they traveling to infect the grandparents anyway? Even if you don’t agree with the mask requirement, and even if it weren’t an FAA rule, the airline is a private business. You agree to their conditions when you buy a ticket. Same way most businesses require you to wear a shirt to enter. You’re also not allowed to bring a festering dog turd onto the aircraft but I can see people trying that and then whining and posting on instagram when they are made to leave the plane. Don’t like the rules? Don’t fly commercial. And then you get internet experts like vargha, who probably doesn’t know the first thing about microbiology or infectious diseases who emerges from under his tin foil hat to make an uninformed comment.

  13. afCAMEO

    afCAMEO

    December 30, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Vargha, perhaps you’d like to experience the effects of Covid and then rethink your statement, EVERYONE susceptible to the virus, from young to old. Take a look at the death statistics. The airlines are following scientific data, no politics involved. I have resisted flying as much as possible because pople like you deny the reality of a serious disease , and I applaud the airlines for taking positive action to mitigate the health issues.

  14. Gizzabreak

    December 30, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    @Vargha … there are plenty of countries around the world that have anarchy at the heart of their ‘system’, yours isn’t one of them … yours is a democracy … and the democratically elected government elected by a majority of your voters has decreed that you are wrong. If you REALLY believe the opinions you express why not either run for President … where, should you win, you may be able to reverse common sense, or move somewhere where anarchy is an accepted vehicle of protest (and the consequences of vocalising the ‘wrong’ contrary minority point of view are likely to be somewhat more permanent).

  15. F16wannabe

    December 31, 2020 at 5:40 am

    @afCAMEO- My wife and I have experienced the effects of Covid. She caught it from her coworkers at the hospital where everybody is required to wear masks at all times. She had a fever and chills for a couple of days and I didn’t even get a sniffle. An antibody test 6 weeks later confirmed that I had antibodies therefore I had it also but didn’t even get sick. Now we are still expected to wear a mask just so we are like the rest of the compliant sheep even though we are almost certainly immune to the virus and no threat to anybody.

  16. Mr. Vker

    December 31, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    @TravelingITguy United’s policy says “Requiring all customers over the age of 2 and employees to wear a face covering on board”. It should say two and over. Semantics to say “the day after your second birthday, you are over two”. No one goes by that. You are that age the whole year. I’m fine with two and up needing the mask. The policy needs to state that-clearly.

  17. Transpacificflyer

    January 1, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Did they really need to take a non essential flight?

  18. jamesteroh

    January 1, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    So these people make non-essential trips during a pandemic when you are supposed to be staying home risking catching covid and spreading it older family members and then their kid doesn’t comply with the requirement and probably delays the flight while they get removed causing the rest of the plane to get delayed (not to mention their kid putting the entire cabin and flight crew at risk by not masking up if she was positive) and then they are made to look like the victims and get a first class trip out of it? I’m sure that two year old is going to grow up to an overentitled selifsh brat like her parents

  19. budsbuds

    January 3, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    So Eliz, let me help you with some basic parenting skills.

    First, know the rules before you fly. If your two-year-is required to wear a face mask while flying and there is any doubt that she will comply, practice at home. If she doesn’t follow your rules at home, then plan to leave her at home or make other travel arrangements.

    Second, be the parent. It’s pretty obvious from the video that your daughter is controlling you, not the other way around. In this paedocentric culture, parents kowtow to their child’s every wants, desires and fits. You’re not doing her any favors. Do you seriously want her to negotiate with you when you tell her to stop when she’s heading to the street to play in traffic? Teach her to obey you…that’s the loving thing to do.

    Third, why were you videoing this? Did you know in advance that your daughter was going to be non-compliant and the video was your way of perhaps wresting some undeserved compensation from United? Or was this your personal statement about the inconvenience of having to wear masks?

    Finally, I agree with you, there are a lot of evil events in the world today. But this event isn’t one of them. You were a bit inconvenienced. Get over it. Grownups take personal responsibility for their decisions (to travel with a two-year-old) and aren’t triggered, traumatized or humiliated when things go awry.

  20. J S

    January 4, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    I have a 2 year old. He wears a mask. So do millions of other toddlers. It isn’t that complicated.

    No 2 year old has an essential need to travel (possible exception would be to see a medical specialist). This one certainly had no essential reason since the parents went without her.

    Also, the Dad is wearing his mask under his nose in the video.

    The whole things smells of a couple of publicity-seeking, self-centered anti-maskers trying to drive traffic to an instagram or twitter profile. The fact that they are using their toddler makes it even more disgusting.

  21. mvoight

    January 4, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    I am quite sure they knew the over 2 meant they had to pay for the child to travel. So, yes, that same thing meant the over 2 year old had to wear a mask once they had reached age 2. This is not something knew for air travel

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