WestJet flight cancelled following baby mask incident.
A WestJet flight from Calgary to Toronto was cancelled on Tuesday after a dispute broke out about a 19-month-old baby not wearing a face mask.
Safwan Choudhry was travelling with his wife and two children when the incident took place.
During the boarding process, his three-year-old daughter was eating a snack and so did not have her face mask on, prompting a flight attendant to approach the family and insist she put it on.
Choudhry asked the flight attendant if his daughter could finish her snack first, but was told the airline has a “zero tolerance policy” and the doors will not close until the girl had her mask on.
The three-year-old agreed to put on her mask according to the family.
However, Choudhry said his 19-month-old baby became “hysterical” and struggled to breathe when his wife attempted to place a mask on her face, resulting in the baby vomiting.
Eventually police were called and the flight was subsequently cancelled.
Choudhry said he later learned that according to Canadian transportation policy, only children over the age of two are required to wear a mask, and so his 19-month-old did not have to put one on.
A witness told CBC News she felt the response from the airline was “unnecessary”.
“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.
In a video posted online of the incident, other passengers can be heard shouting “bullsh*t” towards the police officers and cabin crew.
A WestJet statement says the flight was cancelled because following the “escalation of the situation on board”, which saw police arrive, crew members no longer felt comfortable operating the flight.
“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.
“Due to the rapid escalation of the situation on board, our crew felt uncomfortable to operate and the flight was subsequently cancelled.”
Earlier today my family endure the most horrific & dehumanizing treatment onboard @WestJet plane. My wife was threatening to be arrested & forcibly removed unless my daughters, 3 yrs & 19 months would wear a mask. While my 3yrs wore her mask, the 19 months old was hysterical. pic.twitter.com/MHnaTnKgCU
— Safwan Choudhry (@SafwanChoudhry) September 9, 2020