A mother has allegedly been threatened with arrest and a flight cancelled after authorities attempted to force a “hysterical” 19-month-old baby to wear a mask on a WestJet flight.
Safwan Choudhry, his wife and their two daughters had boarded a flight home to Toronto on Tuesday morning when four crew members approached them and informed them that both of their children need to wear a mask on the plane.
Choudhry said they complied with the request, however, the 19-month-old became hysterical at having her face covered.
MSN reports: “It was then that Choudhry said the crew told the family that they were being ejected from the flight because their young daughter would clearly not be able to keep the mask on her face for the duration of the flight.”
Choudhry uploaded video of the incident to social media, accusing authorities of violating government policy which exempts children under the age of two from wearing a mask.
“Earlier today my family endured the most horrific & dehumanizing treatment onboard @WestJet plane,” he said. “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.
“Several @WestJet crew members wrongfully citing [Transport Canada’s] policy for enforcing my 19 months to wear a mask. Eventually, the entire flight was cancelled & all passengers were removed from plane.”
Choudhry noted that according to the Transport Canada website “children under 2 years old should not wear a mask.”
WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said the crew were not concerned with the 19-month-old, but the three-year-old, saying the “decision had already been made” to remove the family before Choudhry’s wife put a face mask on the child.
Choudhry told MSN, “Multiple police officers boarded the flight and said ‘we need to evacuate you off the plane because you are not complying,’ and I said ‘not complying with what?’ They said, ‘well, we don’t have the exact details we were just told that there were passengers who are not complying and our policy is we have to take you off.’”
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