Woman Refuses to Wear Mask on Flight, Claims She Had the Vaccine

A woman who refused to wear a mask on an American Airlines flight was captured on camera yelling at flight attendants and other passengers, claiming she had been vaccinated.

The incident took place on Flight 2198 from Charlotte, North Carolina to Washington, D.C. on Sunday evening, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Newsweek.

"Following multiple requests to comply with mandatory face covering requirements, one passenger stood up and began yelling at flight attendants and surrounding customers," the spokesperson said.

"If you're that scared, you should not be sitting here," the woman is seen yelling in one video that was posted on Twitter.

Moments later, she added: "I already had the virus and I already had the vaccine and people need to stand up! This is tyranny and this is wrong! This is wrong!" She went on to say that "if we don't stand up, it's only going to get worse."

The woman didn't appear to provide any evidence of having been vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna both require two doses. A second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered 21 days after the initial dose, while Moderna's is administered 28 days after the first injection.

The majority of vaccine doses so far have been administered to high-risk groups, such as health care workers and people living in nursing homes.

UPDATE: she was escorted by the police as soon as we landed. Amazing response from the security abord the flight. Passengers were cheering, one of them even yelled “Welcome to DC”#WashingtonDC @PoPville @WashProbs pic.twitter.com/yMKWXhlqEP

— Emir Sfaxi (@EmirSX) January 11, 2021

"Get her off," a person is heard saying in another clip shortly before federal marshals on the plane stepped in.

"Federal air marshals intervened to help deescalate and maintain control of the situation for the duration of the flight," the airline spokesperson added. "The aircraft landed without further incident and was met on arrival by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police."

The airline added that the woman is being placed on its internal refusal list pending further investigation.

Emir Sfaxi, a passenger on the flight, told Newsweek that the situation had escalated after the woman refused to wear her mask properly, prompting a complaint from a passenger nearby.

He also shared clip of the woman's outburst on Twitter as well as a video of passengers cheering as she was escorted off the plane by police.

"Passengers were cheering, one of them even yelled 'Welcome to DC'," he wrote alongside the clip.

@AmericanAir thank you to the marshals and flight staff that made me feel safe on my flight despite the passenger that attempted to make everyone feel very unsafe, mid flight. Wearing a mask is not tyranny. It is altruism. pic.twitter.com/3rfzXccTU8

— Liza (@lizakhox) January 11, 2021

Airlines have been enforcing strict measures on flights to limit the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic, with many requiring passengers to wear a mask or face covering at all times when on board.

Last month, it was revealed that three major U.S. airlines—Delta, United and JetBlue—have banned more than 1,200 passengers from future flights for refusing to wear a mask on board.

American Airlines said it does not track the number of people who don't comply with mask requirements.

American Airlines spokesperson Curtis Blessing told Newsweek at the time that the majority of passengers follow safety measures on board.

"We expect our customers to comply with our policies when they choose to travel with us, and we take action when that is not the case, but the vast majority of our customers have supported and welcomed our continuing efforts to strengthen our face covering policy based on the CDC's guidance," Blessing said.

"American, like other U.S. airlines, began requiring customers to wear a face covering while on board aircraft beginning May 11. We have since strengthened our policy to require face coverings be worn at airports and on board, and announced in June that we may deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering for the duration of this requirement."

American Airlines check-in desk
An American Airlines check-in area is mostly empty at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 1, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images


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