Woman Compares Herself to Rosa Parks After Refusing To Wear Mask On Plane

A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight out of Dallas, Texas compared herself to Rosa Parks and Anne Frank for "taking a stand" before being escorted off the plane for refusing to wear a mask.

One video posted to TikTok by a fellow passenger, Coach-Cordell Lander or @therbcoach, generated more than 5.6 million views and became the latest instance of airline passengers being non-compliant with COVID-19 safety measures.

In the video, an airline employee walked toward the passenger who was sitting in the back row of the plane. The employee asked if she was against wearing a mask and she replied that was not the case.

When the employee asked the woman why she wasn't currently wearing her mask, she said she was "actively drinking and eating." The employee told the woman that if she did not comply with putting on her mask, she would be removed from the plane.

"I would like you to tell me what the rules are," the woman said. "If I'm actively eating or drinking then I can put down my mask, right? That's what I was told on my last plane and I sat next to a pilot."

The employee asked once again for her to put on her mask but she began raising her voice and telling the employee to do what they have to do but continued to ask why she was being asked to put on her mask.

After arguing with the employee about having to "take a stand" and telling them to handle it, the employee walked away.

The woman then began smiling as other passengers told her to do what she was asked so the plane could leave.

"Do you drive on the wrong side of the road?" one passenger asked.

The woman said she had "no problem" putting a mask on but then claimed the employee wanted her "off no matter what."

As other passengers continued to comment on the passenger's behavior, a flight attendant announced on the speaker that everybody would have to deboard the plane.

In another video posted to TikTok, the woman started ranting about how she needs to "take a stand."

"It probably didn't make sense for Rosa either," the woman said to another passenger. "It probably didn't make sense for Anne Frank either. We have to take a stand."

One passenger immediately replied to the passenger, calling her "racist" for comparing herself to American civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

As of March 28, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 1,035 reports of unruly passengers, 668 of which were related to facemasks. In 2021, the FAA received nearly 6,000 complaints and initiated more than 1,100 investigations.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told Newsweek that the passenger refused to comply with the federal mask mandate on flight 2265 from Dallas, Texas to Long Beach, California.

After the woman was removed from the plane, she was denied boarding and was fully refunded for her travel.

"The remaining passengers scheduled to travel on flight 2265 continued to LGB, arriving nearly two hours behind schedule," the spokesperson said. "We apologize for the inconvenience to others scheduled on this flight, as we worked to ensure all Customers were compliant with the federal mask mandate."

The FAA has taken action against unruly passengers, including proposing up to $5 million in fines against unruly passengers in 2021 and introducing a Zero Tolerance Policy.

Instead of issuing warnings, the Zero Tolerance Policy allows law enforcement to detain any individual who assaults or threatens airline staff, even if they are first-time offenders.

Unruly passengers can face fines up to $37,000 per violation. One incident can result in multiple violations and fines.

Newsweek reached out to @therbcoach but did not receive comment in time for publication.

Woman refused to wear mask on flight
Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Texas to California were forced to deboard after a woman refused to put on her face mask. A spokesperson said the flight was two hours behind due to the incident. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images