Man Kicked off Flight for Removing Mask to Eat | 22 Words

Shocking footage has shown the moment a man was kicked off his flight when he temporarily removed his face mask to eat.

Here's what we know so far...

The incident happened onboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa to Dallas.

via: Getty

The passenger, who just so happened to be sporting a "Black Voices for Trump" hat, was booted from his flight after he pulled down his face mask to eat a snack.

Footage from the scene quickly began to circulate online...

via: Getty

But opinions were seriously divided.

While many were a little confused by the airline's response to the situation...

Many have slammed their move as "discrimination" against both black people and Trump supporters. (There's a sentence I never thought I'd say.)

Now, we all know that face masks have been slowly becoming mandatory in a whole array of public spaces...

via: Getty

Public transport included.

In an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people wear masks or cloth face coverings while using tightly-confined modes of transport.

via: Getty

Such as buses, trains, and airplanes.

But, due to the recycled and filtered air in airplane cabins...

via: Getty

If someone carrying the virus coughs or sneezes while onboard an aircraft, any present strain of the virus will circulate at a much quicker speed than it would in any other mode of transport.

This is why most major airlines have made the decision to enforce strict COVID regulations upon all passengers, such as the requirement of face masks.

via: Getty

And, if any passenger refuses to wear a protective face covering, the airline withholds the right to escort them from the aircraft... Unless they're taking a quick drink or bite to eat, that is.

And this brings us swiftly back to our story.

via: Getty

As stated earlier, a passenger was asked to leave his flight when, just before takeoff, he was seen temporarily pulling down his mask to eat a bag of mixed nuts.

Another passenger filmed the interaction...

via: Twitter

Which was posted online and quick to gain viral attention.

People were not impressed with Southwest Airline's handling of the situation...

And questioned why they were even serving snacks at all if passengers weren't allowed to lower their masks to eat them.

However, many saw it as a blatant example of discrimination...

Both racial and political.

Donald Trump Jr. even weighed in on the incident.

He tweeted angrily: "WTF??? This is disgusting. I’ve been on a thousand flights in the last few months and everyone lowers their masks to eat and drink. I did it on a southwest flight earlier this week."

In the video, the passenger can be seen with his mask pulled down to his chin as he talks to a member of the cabin crew...

via: Twitter

While the woman filming can be heard saying: "Tell us the policy that says he cannot eat with his mask off? It’s the hat and the mask - it’s not the eating."

The air steward can be heard threatening to call the police...

via: Twitter

As the passenger, visibly confused by the whole thing, shakes his head in disbelief.

In a second video, after around 2 minutes of confrontation, the passenger can be seen walking off the aircraft.

via: Twitter

However, a representative for the airline, whose policy requires all passengers over the age of 2 to wear face coverings on flights, insists the ejection came after multiple employees asked him to wear a face covering, the Washington Examiner reported.

Southwest Airlines had this to say:

via: Getty

“Our reports indicate that a Customer traveling on Flight 2632, with scheduled service from Tampa to Dallas, was asked repeatedly by more than one employee at different times to wear a face mask. The customer did not comply with our crew’s multiple verbal requests - including while boarding the flight before seated."

They say the passenger was reseated on a different flight.

via: Getty

The rep continued: "The decision was made to return to the gate and re-accommodate him on a later flight to his final destination after receiving assurances he would comply with our face-covering policy. We regret the inconvenience the situation created for all involved, but our crew must uphold the well-being and comfort of all Passengers."

The ejected passenger is yet to speak out about his experience.

For more controversial stories surrounding airlines and their COVID restrictions, keep scrolling to see a fight between passengers all over a questionable face-covering...