In this age of mask mandates, a man was kicked off a flight not because he didn’t wear a mask, but because he wore one with the ‘wrong’ comments written across it. In a viral video uploaded by a user called Libs of TikTok, an Allegiant Airlines flight attendant argued with a passenger and later asked him to leave the airplane. The video caption alleges it was because the man had ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ written across his face mask.
This guy was reportedly kicked off a flight because he had “let’s go Brandon” written on his mask and refused to change masks. @Allegiant employee claims it’s an “FAA regulation” pic.twitter.com/4ipRbqggEB— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) February 16, 2022
“Can I ask you to wear a different mask please,” the female flight attendant can be heard saying to the man in the video, referring to the “comments” written on there.” She also alluded to an FAA regulation regarding face masks. The man did not comply, saying, “Sounds like a violation of my rights.” As he continued protesting, he was asked to exit the plane by the attendant, which he did.
When asked for comments, Allegiant Airlines confirmed the incident and released a statement saying, “The video in question depicts part of an incident involving a passenger who failed to comply with repeated crew member requests to adhere to the federal face mask policy.” The airline further said, “Disregarding instructions from flight crew members is prohibited by federal regulations and is grounds for removal from a flight where such conduct creates an unsafe environment.”
There is indeed a federal mask mandate on all forms of public transportation as imposed by the TSA: masks should be worn at all times by passengers. It is part of President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel that was imposed on January 31, 2021. However, there is no regulation that says what is and isn’t allowed to be written on a face mask. Such a rule would be absurd, to say the least, and would be a direct violation of the First Amendment.
So it begs the question of why the flight attendant thought it best to remove the passenger in the video. The man was clearly seen wearing a face mask. Allegiant Airline’s defiant response to the incident puts the blame on the passenger’s failure to comply with a crew member’s request. Of course, they didn’t respond to the ridiculousness of the request itself. What if a flight attendant asks a passenger to stop breathing so that they don’t spread Covid? Would refusal still mean they would be kicked out, and would Allegiant Airlines still stand by that decision?
This is not the only controversy involving ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ that occurred on flights. Last year a Southwest Airlines pilot was heard saying that phrase over the intercom during a flight. Also, there was a twitter post that showed one American Airlines pilot having an LGB sticker on their bag.