Gay Trump supporter throws epic tantrum after being told to by airline staff to wear a mask on his flight
A gay Trump fan claims he was “intimidated” by flight attendants who kicked him off a plane because he refused to wear a face mask.
Self-described “former liberal” Brandon Straka reacted in sheer disbelief when American Airlines staff politely asked him to wear a mask on a flight from New York to Dallas.
He flatly refused, even after it was explained to him that face masks are compulsory under the airline’s coronavirus policy. Fortunately for everyone at home, his outburst was captured from several angles as his fellow passengers recorded the confrontation.
“There is currently a mutiny on my flight to Tulsa (via Dallas) because a guy is refusing to wear a mask and the flight can’t take off,” tweeted New York Times reporter Astead Wesley.
He posted a video in which the flight attendant can be heard asking Straka if he has a medical condition. Straka claimed that he did, but was unable to say what this was and lacked any paperwork to prove it.
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) June 17, 2020
Unsurprisingly, Straka’s account of the confrontation was a little different. When these discrepancies were pointed out to him he later claimed it was a “joke”.
Flight Attendant: Excuse me, sir, do you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask?
Flight Attendant: May I ask what that is?
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) June 17, 2020
Eyewitnesses say several passengers applauded as Straka was removed from the flight.
“Literally the whole staff was standing round me intimidating me,” he claimed, describing the encounter in a Periscope broadcast. “This is insane. This is absolutely insane. We don’t even have a choice any more.”
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Gay Republican Straka, who was travelling to a Trump rally in Oklahoma, claims he flies “every week” – so he would probably be aware that all major US airlines have had face mask policies in place since May 11. Exceptions exist for children, passengers eating and drinking and for those with certain medical conditions.
He insisted he shouldn’t have to wear one because it is “not the law”, and the air stewards had no right to remove him.
While it is true that face masks are not a legal requirement, federal law prohibits passengers from interfering with flight attendants, and disruptive behaviours such as disobeying crew members’ repeated requests are considered to be a form of interference.
American Airlines said it had contacted Straka as part of a review of the incident. A spokesperson told Business Insider: “After he refused to comply with the instructions provided by the flight crew, our team members asked him to deplane. He deplaned and the flight departed the gate four minutes late at 12:34 p.m. ET.”
After he was removed from the flight Straka boarded the next one – wearing a mask.