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Flight to Bahamas Nixed After Teen 'Masked Rebellion'

Dozens of high schoolers believed to be from Mass. wouldn't mask up, witnesses say
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2021 11:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Passengers on an American Airlines flight out of North Carolina found their vacation to the Bahamas disrupted after what the New York Post calls a "masked rebellion" by dozens of teens. WSOC reports that Flight 893, headed to Nassau, was prepping to take off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Monday morning when mechanical issues forced passengers to disembark and board another plane. Once on the second aircraft, a new problem cropped up: more than 30 teenagers said to be from a Boston-area high school reportedly refused to put on their face masks as required. "It was bad," one passenger says. "First, they were yelling. They were cursing. They were being very obnoxious." After a commotion that the outlet says lasted for "hours," the flight was finally canceled until the next day.

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An American Airlines rep confirms to the Charlotte Observer that "disruptive" passengers led to the flight's cancellation. "We expect our customers to comply with our policies when they choose to fly with us, and we take action when that is not the case," Andrew Trull notes. He says passengers received hotel vouchers, though WSOC notes the students themselves were too young to get hotel rooms and spent the night at the airport. "All they had to do was follow the rules, put the mask on, sit there. No smart-mouth comments. And they couldn’t do it," passenger Christina Randolph tells that outlet, adding that, as a nurse who has a hard time getting days off, she didn't appreciate her vacation being shortened by the teens' actions. Both WCVB and WMUR report that the students are believed to be from Winthrop, Mass. Police sources say there've been no arrests. (Read more face masks stories.)

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