Toddler unable to maintain face mask

Old Aug 25, 20, 1:24 pm
  #1  
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Toddler unable to maintain face mask

I purchase a one-way AA flight (before the pandemic) for my family in November using BA Avios. We will be traveling with our two young children. Our 4 year old is very good with a mask, but our younger one currently refuses to wear one. No issues today because she's still under 2, but her second birthday is just before this flight. I called BA to explain the problem and they said the cancellation would be deemed voluntary, so we'd be refunded the Avios but would need to pay a cancellation fee of 35 quid per ticket. I pushed back that this policy didn't exist when we bought our tickets, but they didn't care and were adamant about paying the fee. Should we go forward with the flight and just do our best to keep her mask on (which probably won't work out well unless her behavior changes dramatically in the next few months), or bite the bullet and pay the ~$180 to cancel the trip?

It doesn't seem like a fair choice to me, but I'd prefer not to be thrown off the plane and end up on the evening news.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 1:26 pm
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I would be shocked if a FA gave you grief over a two year old.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
I would be shocked if a FA gave you grief over a two year old.
I would have agreed with you until I saw that a 2 year old was kicked off a JetBlue flight recently. And there's definitely a huge difference between a newly-minted 2 year old and an almost 3 year old when it comes to mask wearing.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 1:38 pm
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1. While not mandatory, AA would certainly refund tickets in this situation. But, you are stuck with BA as the ticketing carrier.
2. I would not be quite so blase about what a FA will do. The policy expressly includes age 2+ and was changed to eliminate all exemptions (along with UA, B6 & WN). Both B6 and WN have had high-profile denied boardings (or removals) at age 3. No reason to expect any difference from AA.

Nonetheless, I would call back and, if denied, ask for a supervisor/manager. If unsusccessful, I would pay the fees, and then write in asking BA to consider refunding or crediting the fees as a gesture in light of the fact that the operating carrier imposed new requirements after you had purchased the tickets. These are simply fees. It is not as though BA does not recover the value it transferred to AA to carry you.

I would not attempt to fly and risk having the family left at the airport or going through a miserable experience.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
It doesn't seem like a fair choice to me, but I'd prefer not to be thrown off the plane and end up on the evening news.
The only way you would end up on the evening news is if you contacted them.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 3:10 pm
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Fly! Do your best and any FA or fellow passenger would appreciate the effort and understand. Don't overthink this as there's always more to these 'kicked off the plane" stories.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 4:19 pm
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If it is a flight departing from the USA , then the taxes will be around $5.60
With a BA Avios cancellation, you will get the Avios back and get the taxes back minus GBP35
If the taxes are GBP35 or less then you will simply just get nothing back, you will not have to pay anything

If it is just $5.60 taxes , I wouldn't spend too much time trying to get someone to make an exception over $5.60

I wouldn't expect that there woul be an exception given though. I wouldn't be trying to travel if the child cannot comply with the mask requirement

How much did you pay in taxes per passenger?
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Old Aug 25, 20, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
I would have agreed with you until I saw that a 2 year old was kicked off a JetBlue flight recently. And there's definitely a huge difference between a newly-minted 2 year old and an almost 3 year old when it comes to mask wearing.
That's shocking, I can't believe they'd kick off any toddler for not wearing a mask. I'm honestly a bit surprised airlines have mandated anyone under the age of 4 wear a mask, it just doesn't seem like a fair policy for their level of understanding.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Chris2013 View Post
That's shocking, I can't believe they'd kick off any toddler for not wearing a mask. I'm honestly a bit surprised airlines have mandated anyone under the age of 4 wear a mask, it just doesn't seem like a fair policy for their level of understanding.
Why 4? Why not 6 or 5 or 10? ​​​​​I know 2 year olds that are fine and 4 year olds that would not comply.

The airline had to pick an age, there isn't a right answer.

As for the OP, the safest option is to cancel. There is a risk of being deboarded if the child doesn't wear their mask (smaller risk, IMO, but a risk nonetheless).
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Old Aug 25, 20, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
Why 4? Why not 6 or 5 or 10? ​​​​​I know 2 year olds that are fine and 4 year olds that would not comply.

The airline had to pick an age, there isn't a right answer.

As for the OP, the safest option is to cancel. There is a risk of being deboarded if the child doesn't wear their mask (smaller risk, IMO, but a risk nonetheless).
Because 4 years old is the age where most start school and are expected to be able to follow instructions (whether they do or not is a different story). If you're not yet potty trained, requiring a mask seems sort of silly don't you think? If I had a barely 2 year old, I'd probably just lie about their age to skirt the requirement.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 5:01 pm
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Can a two-year-old wear a clear plastic face shield, combined with a (somewhat loose) bandanna? That may be easier and less of a sensory issue...
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Old Aug 25, 20, 5:13 pm
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Our 2 year old granddaughter has had cancer for the past year. She recently reached remission. During the entire year both she and her sister wore facemasks in public. They did because they had to. It was life saving. She is still building her own immunity back. You would be surprised what a 2 year old will do when they have to do it.

I take no exception unless the child has autism or some other mental or psychiatric disability. Deal with it. Your kid could kill my kid with their Covid germs. I take no $#!# from anyone about this. Sorry to inconvenience you. We all live together in this country. Don't like it? Stay home. We do unless someone needs food, medicine or to go to one of what seems a million doctors appointments. She was referred to Sloane Kettering for a special post cancer treatment. We cancelled that plan. Why? Kids and adults who "can't" or "won't" wear masks. Grrrr.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Can a two-year-old wear a clear plastic face shield, combined with a (somewhat loose) bandanna? That may be easier and less of a sensory issue...
Not good enough umfortunately. To the OP, have a read of some of the other forums regarding non-compliance with face mask policies. Airlines (and pax) are getting stricter and stricter. I wouldn't even attempt this if it was me. It will likely not end well.

https://news.aa.com/news/news-detail...es-OPS-DIS-08/

Allowed:

  • A well-secured cloth or mask that fits snugly against the face and covers an individual’s nose and mouth. It must be made of a material that prevents the discharge and release of respiratory droplets from a person's nose or mouth.

Not allowed:

  • Face coverings with exhaust valves.
  • Face coverings made with materials such as mesh or lace fabrics.
  • Face coverings that do not cover the nose and mouth.
  • Face shields without the addition of a face covering.
Only children under the age of 2 are exempt from American’s face covering policy. Customers without an approved face covering will be provided with an approved one, upon request, at the airport. Face coverings can only be briefly removed while the customer is eating or drinking. Customers will be reminded of these guidelines throughout their time traveling with American. Those unwilling to comply with American’s face covering policy at any time during their journey may be denied boarding or barred from future travel for the duration of this policy.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
. Should we go forward with the flight and just do our best to keep her mask on (which probably won't work out well unless her behavior changes dramatically in the next few months), or bite the bullet and pay the ~$180 to cancel the trip?

It doesn't seem like a fair choice to me, but I'd prefer not to be thrown off the plane and end up on the evening news.
I don't think anybody can answer the question but yourself.
What is your risk tolerance?
Risk of being denied boarding or thrown out of the plane. Risk of having an unnecessary unpleasant confrontation with an FA or other pax. etc.

You may ask what is the chance that you find a pax that complains about your toddler or that you find a FA that wants your family to follow the rules (FAs that do their job get name called here "FA on a power trip")
I would say 80% chance. YMMV.
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Old Aug 25, 20, 6:03 pm
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Does your child not want to sit in the car seat? If no, what do you do?

Some 2 year olds are already in preschool or a day care environment where rules have to be followed.

Since you have 2 months before your flight why not use this time as a teachable moment.
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