Eliz Orban and family kicked off United Airlines after 2 year old daughter refuses to wear face mask amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Eliz Orban posted video on Instagram showing herself in the airport along with her husband and daughter, Edeline, after getting off the plane.
‘And we’re banned off United forever because a two-year-old would not put on a mask,’ Orban claimed.
Video shows the moment airline staff remove the family from the flight, even as Orban and her husband try to put the mask on their daughter’s face.
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‘grab your belongings and exit the aircraft’
Edeline is seen visibly upset and refusing to put the mask on.
At one point, a gate agent comes aboard the plane, walks over to the family’s seats and asks them to leave.
‘Hello sir. I’m going to have to ask you to grab your belongings and exit the aircraft,’ the agent said.
Orban’s husband responded: ‘You gotta be kidding me. Why? We’re over here holding this mask on her face.’
The agent then says: ‘I’m sorry sir. I gave you an opportunity. I’ve got to ask you to get off this plane.’
The couple tried to explain that they couldn’t force their daughter to put it on because she was ‘crying’. The family is then seen gathering their belongings and walking off the aircraft.
In the clip, the agent is heard telling the couple that their luggage, including their daughter’s car seat, would remain on the plane and head to their final destination.
‘Is this a joke?’
‘Our child seat is on that plane. How are we supposed to go home?’ Orban is heard asking.
‘Is this an actual joke?’ she questioned, only to receive no response.
To date, Orban’s video has been viewed more than 7.1 million times.
Orban shared in the caption that the incident left her in ‘disbelief’ and in ‘disgust’.
She also gave some background to what happened before she started recording.
‘Today, we were asked to leave the plane after it had rolled out, and they had to bring it back to the gate, because our 2 year old daughter would not “comply” and keep her mask on,’ the post reads.
Premier silver members at United
‘Since our bags weren’t taken off the plane (they did get our child seat) – we have to wait until tomorrow till they deliver it to our house in Breckenridge which is 2 hours from the DIA airport,’ she said.
According to Orban, they were trying to make it to New Jersey on Friday ahead of a dinner planned with family and friends. New Jersey is also where her husband grew up.
‘I’ve lived there twice before we got married, and we had spent a long time there together. It’s truly our second home. A tradition that we have is to go see the Rockefeller tree every year. It’s a tradition we also wanted our 2 year old daughter to experience,’ she wrote.
‘Some of our closest friends/family that had grown up with (including his childhood best friend who had moved to Slovakia years ago and hasn’t even met our daughter, and some of our other friends we call family flying in from Cleveland) were going to be there tonight and tomorrow so we can all spend time together for the first time in years.’
Orban also revealed that she and her husband are premier silver members at United and ‘always fly with them’.
‘In fact, we had flown with Edeline 4 times already since the pandemic, without ever having an issue,’ the mother added.
Orban pointed out that the World Health Organization recommends against face masks for children under the age of five years old.
‘And this decision was “based on expert opinion on childhood developmental milestones, challenges with mask compliance, and the autonomy required to wear a mask properly”,’ Orban wrote on Instagram.
But the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) says that parents should help their children ‘if 2 years of age or older wear a mask correctly when in public and when around people they don’t live with’.
The airline have since told the dailymail that the parents and two year old are not banned from flying with United Airlines in the future.
In a statement a spokesperson for United told the tabloid: ‘The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have a multi-layered set of policies, including mandating that everyone onboard two and older wears a mask.
‘These procedures are not only backed by guidance from the CDC and our partners at the Cleveland Clinic, but they’re also consistent across every major airline,’ the statement reads.
The airline’s mask policy does state that all flyers who are two years or older must wear a covering on their face with ‘no vents or openings’ that covers the person’s nose and mouth.
The airline said it had refunded tickets and returned belongings. United said it would open an investigation into the incident.
‘We are investigating this specific incident and have made contact with the family. We also refunded their tickets and returned their car seat and bags,’ the statement reads.