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Westjet calls in the police on Maskless Toddler

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Westjet calls in the police on Maskless Toddler

Old 10th Sep 2020, 12:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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Westjet calls in the police on Maskless Toddler

Read the whole thing. WJ doesn't look that great....but who knows of course.
Couple highlights:

"But WestJet said the accounts from the crew and airline agents differ from Choudhry's.

"WestJet would like to clarify that there were two children, and we were not requiring the infant to wear a mask, but did require the other child, who is over age two, to wear one," WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart said in an email.

WestJet has a zero-tolerance mask adherence policy, the airline said, to comply with a Transport Canada regulation making it mandatory for all travellers aged two and over to wear protective face coverings while on flights.

"Our crew requested the presence of the authorities after the guests refused to comply with Transport Canada's interim order and subsequently refused to deplane the aircraft," the airline said in the update.

"Due to the rapid escalation of the situation on board, our crew felt uncomfortable to operate and the flight was subsequently cancelled."

Stewart apologized to guests affected by the cancelled flight, and said the airline found flights for most of them.

"We are disappointed that this issue ended ultimately in a flight cancellation for all guests on board," Stewart said.

PAX response:
"We were surprised to learn our 19-month-old daughter needed to be wearing a mask," he said, adding that he didn't realize until later that the child wasn't required to wear a mask under Transport Canada rules.

He said he and his wife tried to force a mask onto their youngest daughter's face, to no avail.

"Of course, being desperate to get home, we — despite there not being such a policy — opted to comply until she was crying hysterically, with the crew watching over us, until she threw up, at which point they told us you all need to get off the plane."

Choudhry said after the child vomited, a flight attendant told him police would be called and threatened his wife with arrest.

A few minutes later, police arrived and said the child would need to wear a mask or the family would be removed from the plane. Choudhry said at this point, other passengers stood up to voice their anger at the situation.

Choudhry shared a video with CBC News that shows masked police officers speaking to passengers on the plane, and frustrated passengers can be heard shouting as a child cries. Another video shows police standing in the aisle, his older daughter wearing a mask and sitting with his wife, and his younger daughter sitting with him, unmasked.

"As you can see in the video, my three-year-old is already wearing a mask and is calmly watching cartoons," he said.

"Within a few minutes, the captain of the flight said 'for security and safety reasons, we're evacuating everyone from the flight," he said. "We felt awful that now this entire plane is being evacuated."

Choudhry said after the plane was evacuated, officers asked for each family member's ID — which is when police realized that the child was under two, he said.

Another passenger, Marian Nur, witnessed the entire interaction.

She said at no point did Choudhry or his wife raise their voices while interacting with flight attendants, and that she saw the family doing their best to comply with instructions.

"I was so shocked, the parents never raised their voices, they never got angry with the attendants, they were just trying to reason with them," she said, adding that she felt the airline's response "was just very unnecessary."

Nur said she felt the family was potentially being mistreated because of their race, so she started recording the incident on her phone. She said a flight attendant first asked her to stop recording, then asked police to make Nur stop recording when she refused — police told the flight attendant it was not their responsibility to stop Nur from filming.

"This was about a toddler not wearing a mask, and you felt the need to deboard the entire plane? There was a woman on the plane trying to get home to her mother on her deathbed. It was just frustrating, very, very upsetting," Nur said.

Choudhry said since the flight was cancelled, WestJet has not reached out to him or his family at all.

WestJet said due to privacy concerns, it currently can't share any more information about the incident."

Last edited by Pilot DAR; 10th Sep 2020 at 15:36. Reason: Title corrected for accuracy
wan2fly99 is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2020, 14:28
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Stupidity (this time courtesy of Westjet) seems to reach new heights everyday.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 14:31
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CBC: WestJet cancels flight after dispute over child’s mask

Someone is telling porkies.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 14:54
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WestJet cancels flight because of mask dispute with child

Good Morning All:
The family in question was apparently flying on a "Buddy Pass" given to them from a friend who works for West Jet. As everyone knows Pass Travel is a privilege not a right and Mr Choudhry made it worse for the employee in question by going to the media. I can only imagine the poor employee explaining to his/her manager the circumstances "over milk and cookies" in the managers office.

For all Airline Employees if you give out a pass to a friend their actions will reflect on your judgement if things go badly especially when it makes the BBC!


Safwan Choudhry says WestJet wanted his 19-month-old to wear a mask, but the baby girl would not stop crying.

The airline says the issue was not with the infant, who is below the age required to wear a mask, but with Mr Choudhry's three-year-old.

Tuesday morning's Flight 652 from Calgary to Toronto was stopped, and all passengers were ordered to disembark.

"It's unlike anything I have ever witnessed, let alone experienced," Mr Choudhry told the BBC.

Mr Choudhry told the BBC his oldest daughter, who is three, was eating a snack before take-off when flight attendants approached them asking that both their children wear a mask. He said he and his wife were masked.

He said he asked if his daughter could finish her snack, but that they said they had a "zero tolerance policy" and would not close the plane door without her wearing a mask. Mr Choudhry said he agreed to put one on immediately.

"Most children you have to kind of ease them into it, which is a code word for let me get the iPad out," he told the BBC.

He says the three-year-old did put on a mask, after some fussing.

"But my younger one had a very difficult time, she was basically hysterical."

Mr Choudhry says she was so upset she vomited.

He says WestJet was aggressive, and told them that because his youngest daughter was not wearing a mask, and was too upset to wear a mask, the whole family would have to leave.

He says they told them that if they did not leave, they could be arrested, charged and receive prison time.

Mr Choudhry says he and his wife were respectful. They ultimately agreed to leave.

He later learned that according to Canadian transportation policy, only children over two are required to wear a mask, and thus his 19-month-old did not have to put one on.

What does WestJet say?

WestJet disputes that the three-year-old put a mask on.

The airline said in a statement: "Due to non-compliance of the parents to place a mask on their older child who is over the age of two, our crew informed the adults of the regulations we are required to follow.

"Our crew requested the presence of the authorities after the guests refused to comply with Transport Canada's interim order and subsequently refused to deplane the aircraft."

A video taken with Mr Choudhry's phone shows his older daughter wearing a mask on the plane, after police arrived on board.

He says while some passengers were very irritated with his family, "overwhelmingly" people on the plane supported them. Many spoke up in defence of the family, as their youngest cried, he says.

That was when flight staff called police, he says. They got off the plane, and the flight was eventually cancelled and rebooked for the next day.

"Due to the rapid escalation of the situation on board, our crew felt uncomfortable to operate and the flight was subsequently cancelled," WestJet said.

In a video, a police officer explains to them that while the mask issue with the eldest was "resolved", "the behaviour of the other passengers left the rest of the crew feeling unsafe".

Some passengers can be heard in video of the incident heckling the police and air crew.

The officer later confirms that when he arrived, the oldest child was wearing a mask.

Police did not file any charges.

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Old 10th Sep 2020, 15:13
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"Someone is telling porkies".

Couldn't possibly be the airline of course (same as TUI the other day)!
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:29
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So they brought in the goons (RCMP) to beat up some kids and the parents. I bet the cops like doing this because a little kid does not fight back. At least it was not a Dr. David Dao scenario.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:31
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Westjet revokes Toronto family’s flight privileges (and those of the employee who gave them the passes)https://calgaryherald.com/news/local...d%20daughters.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:38
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The public should boycott this horrible airline! How does one eat the meal served with a mask on? Or do we starve now for these idiots?
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:42
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Re the masks, WestJet was simply following Canadian Law that requires the masks. https://tc.canada.ca/en/initiatives/...erators#annexd
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:47
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There has to be room for some discretion in the application of this law.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 17:05
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Were Westjet following the law? The child was 19 months old and according to Canadian law exempt from wearing a mask.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 17:42
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We have flown West Jet quite a bit and generally they are almost efficient, (better than most) and courteous. They do seem to be getting some black eyes over their application of new rules, laws and policies though.

They have handed out vouchers to passengers whose flights have been cancelled and demand a substantial payment for anyone who asks for their money back. That isn't a big deal if you have only paid eight or nine hundred for a flight but there was one family who had made an eighteen thousand dollar booking whose flight was cancelled and WJ demanded they accept a $3,500 deduction from their refund. After a news reporter intervention they were still obliged to accept a deduction of $2,700.

We all know airlines are getting screwed every which way over Covid and we don't know if vouchers or refunds are an existential choice but it leaves a bad taste.

Another bad taste is left by the vouchers only being valid for two years. It is six months already since our cancelled flight and we have no idea whether we will want, or even be able, to travel in the next eighteen months to a destination served by WJ.

I feel disappointed for all those staff who have worked for so long to make WJ one of the best to fly with but for now, for us at least, they are no longer our "preferred" airline.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 18:08
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I'll give you a possible scenario ...

Some young attendant decides to pursue 'company policy' but gets it wrong. PAX watching and filming (not the accused) start getting uppity and tell crew they're out of order. Senior crew arrive and support colleagues. PAX get more uppity. Police are called and can see nothing wrong.
Crew, having been shown to be wrong, get uppity and decide they can't possibly manage this flight because PAX are uppity. Flight cancelled. WestJet make fools of themselves. The End.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 18:42
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Interesting to contrast WestJet's attitude - allegedly telling fibs and then trying to brazen things out - with that of EasyJet, who were also caught with their pants down in a mask-related fracas, but who in the end held their hands up and said mea culpa.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 22:26
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Precisely. Crew decided they didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of serving these people who all made them look like morons.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 22:30
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Even if there is a reason in contract to milk money out of a refund, I can't see how they have the damnedable nerve to do it when they were mistaken about the child's age.

Is the crew aware of just how much hardship is caused by a cancellation? If you want to really hurt people, leaving a family stranded has to be well up on the list.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 07:31
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I'm only an interested SLF and frequent flyer before Corona but when I see the behavior of the airlines I rather will not plan any flight soon – for sure not for this year.
Had been thinking about booking a flight at xmas but I think it is better to wait a bit more.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 08:17
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The de-escalation skills amongst our new generation of cabin crew are frightening. I've witnessed it myself a handful of times. Absolutely spot on to say that after a while, it becomes a face saving exercise and logic totally goes through the window. Race and a natural subconscious fear of those who look different most likely played a part here too. Disembarking everyone is proof of this. A drunken or otherwise physical bust up onboard wouldn't have even illicited that reaction.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 08:35
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There is no way to force a small child to wear a mask. Airlines should stop fighting their passengers.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 15:33
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Tell that to the regulator who set the rules they were trying to enforce.

Read elsewhere yesterday that other passengers have said it wasn't about the 19-month old. The 3 year old was having a meltdown over wearing a mask. I'm going to hazard a guess that these parents weren't smart enough to have "practiced" wearing masks with the child prior to going on the flight. Those who have done so are having no problems with compliance.
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