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'Disbelief, Disgust, Humiliation' as Family Kicked Off Flight

It was because a toddler refused to wear a mask
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2020 2:26 PM CST

(Newser) – "Confusion, disbelief, disgust, and humiliation." That's a Colorado mom's reaction to being booted from a United Airlines flight Friday after her young daughter refused to wear a face mask onboard, the New York Post reports. "We just got kicked off the flight because our 2-year-old would not put on a mask, and we tried," Eliz Orban says in an Instagram video. The video shows Orban's husband as he tries unsuccessfully to convince his daughter to wear the mask. "You have to put this on," he says, as the girl clamps her hands over her face and squirms away. Later, an attendant on the Denver-to-Newark flight arrives and asks the family to collect their belongings and exit the plane. By that time Orban's husband was holding a mask over his daughter's face. "You gotta be kidding me," he says.

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United says it is investigating the incident, per TMZ, and adds that "the health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have a multi-layered set of polices, including that everyone onboard two and older wears a mask." The World Health Organization advises that mask requirements should not apply to kids aged 5 years and younger, the Post notes. Orban initially said the family was unable to retrieve its checked luggage and car seat, and was even banned from United for life, but the airline denies both statements and says it has refunded the family's tickets. On Instagram, Orban says she's a Premier Silver member with United and has flown four times with her daughter during the pandemic without any problems. (Read more United Airlines stories.)

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