Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
A family who prompted the cancellation of a Westjet flight early on Tuesday morning because their two small children refused to wear face masks have now been banned by the airline from future travel. Under Westjet’s new ‘zero tolerance’ policy on face mask compliance, the family could remain on the airline’s no-fly list for up to a year.
Safwan Choudhry claims flight attendants on Westjet flight WS652 from Calgary to Toronto on Tuesday demanded that his 19-month old daughter wear a face mask despite both Westjet and Transport Canada exempting anyone under the age of two from the requirement.
Choudhry says his wife attempted to get their young daughter to wear a mask but the infant panicked and was unable to tolerate the mask. Westjet maintains that the 19-month old wasn’t of concern and it was, in fact, the refusal of the Choudhry’s older three-year-old daughter to wear a face mask that prompted the dispute.
After an argument apparently ensued between the flight attendants, the family and other passengers onboard the red-eye flight, police were called to settle the dispute. Calgary police decided that there wasn’t any need for their involvement but flight attendants felt uncomfortable operating and the flight was subsequently cancelled.
The family have been stranded in Calgary ever since and Safwan now claims he and his family have been banned by the airline. According to a Tweet posted by Safwan, he only found out about the ban after being informed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Westjet has been contacted for an updated statement but had not responded at the time of publication. A spokesperson for the airline previously explained:
“WestJet would like to clarify that there were two children, and we were not requiring the infant to wear a mask, but did require the other child, who is over age two, to wear one.”
“Our crew requested the presence of the authorities after the guests refused to comply with Transport Canada’s interim order and subsequently refused to deplane the aircraft,” the statement continued.
“Due to the rapid escalation of the situation on board, our crew felt uncomfortable to operate and the flight was subsequently cancelled.”
Some passengers backed the Choudhry’s, claiming the flight attendants were acting unreasonably and that at no point did the family raise their voices with them. Safwan has demanded an apology from the airline but considering Westjet’s latest decision that currently looks extremely unlikely.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.