Now Reading
Westjet Cancelled an Entire Flight Because a 19-Month Old Child Couldn’t Wear a Face Mask

Westjet Cancelled an Entire Flight Because a 19-Month Old Child Couldn’t Wear a Face Mask

The Canadian airline Westjet has been accused of cancelling an entire flight and threatening a family with arrest because their 19-month old baby was unable to wear a face mask. Westjet recently introduced a “zero tolerance” policy to back up mandatory face mask rules but both the airline and Transport Canada exempt children under the age of two from wearing a face covering.

Safwan Choudhry claims Westjet flight attendants wrongly told him and his wife to put a face mask on their 19-month shortly after boarding flight WS652 from Calgary to Toronto on Tuesday night.

Choudhry says they successfully put a face mask on their older 3-year old child but struggled with the 19-month old who started to scream and cry. The family say they had never attempted to put a mask on a child so little and it was a natural reaction for their baby to panic.

While Choudhry’s wife asked the flight attendant for a moment to calm her child and get the face mask on, the flight attendant allegedly hovered over the family watching what was going on. They were then threatened with arrest.

“I’m asking you for the last time because the next time it will be police that will come here and they will arrest you and you will leave with your child,” the flight attendant allegedly told Choudhry’s wife.

The police were in fact called, although the Calgary Police Department say they boarded the flight simply to back up Westjet flight attendants and no arrests were made. A video posted by Choudhry on Twitter shows two police officers getting into a heated exchange with both his wife and other passengers.

Westjet then took the decision to cancel the entire flight because some guests “chose not to comply with the Transport Canada order related to the wearing of masks on-board the aircraft for all guests two and older.”

Choudhry said that decision led to some passengers to ” hurl racist and Islamophobic remarks at my family.”

A spokesperson for Westjet, however, backed up the actions of the flight attendants. “Our flight attendants have access to the guest manifest, which specifically states which guests are under two (booked as infants) and are enforcing the policy as per the Transport Canada regulation for guests two and older,” the spokesperson explained.

“Overwhelmingly, our guests have been doing an excellent job adhering to the directive and we thank them for their co-operation and dedication to the safety of all.”

Westjet introduced its Zero Tolerance policy in support of face mask rules on September 1. The policy can result in denied boarding, a return to the gate and a possible flying ban of up to one year. Flight attendants should follow a three-step process that starts with passengers being asked to put on a mask, then a warning, and finally a notice of non-compliance.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.