SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Outrage onboard an Allegiant Airlines flight. Four African-American teenage boys were forced off their plane by flight attendants before takeoff over claims they were not wearing masks. But the teens, all part of a basketball team, say they were wearing their masks, and passengers riding by their side back them up.
Cell phone video shows Mesa, Arizona police escorting the four Sacramento teens off their Allegiant Airlines flight, and back into the terminal after flight attendants accused the boys of not wearing masks and not complying with repeated requests to put them on.
The teens say they were wearing their masks and when flight attendants asked them to pull the masks up over their noses-they did. “We had our masks on, yes sir,” David Schuhmeier said.
“She was more so saying that we had the masks on underneath our nose, so it wasn’t fully on over our whole face,” Corey Brown said.
“And they said that we was disobeying when they first asked us even though all our teammates said ‘yes ma’am,’ and pulled it above our nose,” adds Brian Buchanan, Jr.
Allegiant Airlines issued a statement reading: “The party referenced aboard flight 208 on February 8 refused to comply with Federal regulations requiring face coverings throughout travel. After repeated and disruptive refusals to comply, the party was deplaned from the flight.”
“To me, that’s crazy, because that’s not what happened, and we have witnesses that didn’t have a problem with us,” Schuhmeier said.
Passenger Amy Flanagan was sitting next to the teens and watched the exchange unfold. She says the airline is wrong. “I did not hear anything disruptive, disrespectful,” Flanagan said. “They weren’t doing anything that made me think that warranted them getting kicked off. I think it was just really disturbing honestly.”
Several of the teammates called their parents when police arrived to escort them from the plane.
Kiondra Phipps says her son’s call, was the only one she got. “You’re telling me that because somebody’s mask slipped below their nose, that they have to be taken off the plane completely,” Kiondra Phipps said. “Sixteen and 17-year-olds? And you don’t tell their parents? You don’t care what happens to them? That doesn’t happen to people that aren’t brown.”
A mother’s allegations of racial profiling on an Allegiant Airlines flight, after her son’s team was forced off.
Two passengers on this flight said people on surrounding seats gave the teens money to help them find a place to stay for the night in Arizona. Ultimately their coach, who was not on the plane, was able to help pick them up and get them a room for the night.
They got home on a different airline Tuesday morning.