Southwest Airlines is taking flack after a viral video shows a flight attendant kicking a black Trump supporter off a flight after he reportedly lowered his "Trump" face mask to eat nuts.
The airline says the man, who was also wearing a "Black Voices for Trump" hat, refused multiple requests to wear a face covering.
The video, filmed by conservative activist and attorney KrisAnne Hall, shows the man eating a bag of mixed dried fruit and nuts while the mask rests below his chin. He can be heard arguing with a flight attendant, explaining that his mask was down because he was eating.
"Can you tell us the policy that prevents him from taking his mask off while he's eating, please?" Hall can be heard asking the flight attendant.
Moments later the man packs up and heads for the exit while Hall continues to ask the employee questions about the airline's mask policy.
According to Hall, the man - identified as Philip Ndifon - was 'actively eating and complied when asked to wear a mask,' adding 'other people eating and they aren't kicked off the plane... Yet a black man in a Trump hat gets kicked off.'
UPDATE FROM KRISANNE HALL, he was flying with her.. pic.twitter.com/fXuENwoId3— 🧡Lady E 88 🧡🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@Lady_E_88) October 13, 2020
The airline has faced backlash over the incident.
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. https://t.co/yQxUcbduwp— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 14, 2020
Wow @SouthwestAir this is REALLY bad.— Ken Cage (@KenCageRepo) October 14, 2020
Southwest told Newsweek "The customer did not comply with our crew's multiple verbal requests—including while boarding the flight before seated. Therefore, 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," adding " We regret the inconvenience the situation created for all involved, but our crew must uphold the well-being and comfort of all passengers."
"Our policy clearly states that we require all customers over the age of two to wear a face covering or face mask while traveling to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19."
Except that's not quite what happened according to witnesses.