A man claims jetBlue has added him to its ‘no-fly’ list and has banned him from future flights because he filed a lawsuit in federal court against the airline over its face mask policy.
Lucas Wall, a Washington D.C. resident, says he has been stranded in Florida since early June because he can’t find an airline that will accept his face mask exemption and let him travel bare-faced.
Wall has filed a succession of lawsuits against several different airlines, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in an effort to get President Biden’s face mask mandate overturned.
So far, Wall has failed in all his legal challenges to strike down what he describes as illegal and discriminatory face mask policies that he says prohibit passengers who are medically unable to wear a face mask from flying.
In the latest dispute with jetBlue, Wall booked tickets on October 12 for a flight to take him home to Washington D.C. on October 25. On the same day that he booked his tickets, Wall contacted jetBlue and requested a face mask exemption as he suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder which results in him suffering a panic attack whenever he puts on a mask.
The following day, Wall received an email from jetBlue’s internal security department explaining that his ticket had been cancelled. When he called the airline, Wall claims a supervisor told him that the airline wasn’t permitted to rebook him on future flights.
“JetBlue has sent a chilling message to the disabled: If you sue us in pursuit of legitimate legal claims, we will forbid you from flying,” Wall said via email on Thursday. “It violates public policy and is unscrupulous. This is an affront to all disabled Americans.”
Wall has already started further legal action, filing a complaint with the Department of Transport and seeking an injunction to force jetBlue to remove him from its no-fly list.
Along with jetBlue, lawsuits have been filed by Wall against six other carriers including Southwest and Delta Air Lines. Wall says that these airlines have made to process of claiming a face mask exemption so onerous as to make it all but impossible.
JetBlue admits to banning Wall but says it has nothing to do with his current litigation. The airline alleges Wall has been attempting to recruit people to disrupt flights to Washington D.C. by collectively refusing to wear face masks.
In an emailed statement, the airline told us: “We continue to comply with the federal mask mandate and offer a process for exemptions in limited cases.”
“The safety of our crewmembers and customers is our top priority. This customer has publicly announced efforts to recruit and organize other customers to collectively disrupt flights on commercial aircraft heading to Washington, D.C., this month by refusing to wear their masks during flights.
It’s for this reason, not his current litigation, that he is no longer welcome to fly JetBlue.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.