In an unprecedented incidence, an American Airlines flight from North Carolina to the Bahamas was delayed by a day after around 30 teenagers refused to wear masks. As per federal rules in the country, travellers are mandated to wear a face mask to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, the group of students showed their reluctance to wear masks, forcing crew to call the police.
The incidence is from Monday where an American Airlines Flight 893 was scheduled for take-off from Charlotte Douglas airport, but could only leave the tarmac on Tuesday morning. While there was an initial delay of several hours due to a mechanical problem, the flight was further delayed after arguments broke out between the crew and a group of youths who refused to comply with federal rules.
“It was bad. First, they were yelling. They were cursing. They were being very obnoxious," witness Malik Banks told the local channel WSOC-TV.
The group of around 30 teens were high school students from Boston celebrating their graduation. They ended up agreeing to wear a mask the next day, after spending a night at the airport. Police made no arrests, local media reported.
The incident reflected a general decline in civility on board planes, according to US carriers. Unions and industry federations last month called on the Department of Justice to take a more systematic approach to prosecuting violent incidents on board flights.
Since January 1, 2021, there have been 3,271 incidents involving passengers reported, including 2,475 linked to passengers refusing to wear a mask, according to a press release from the Federal Aviation Administration published on Tuesday.
With Inputs from AFP