Southwest Airlines has apologized after a flight attendant suggested gluing a mask to the face of a toddler who kept taking the mask off. That’s what the child’s mother says. On flights in the United States, a mask is mandatory from 2 years old. The incident is said to have taken place on a flight from Orlando, Florida, to Norfolk, Virginia, on Thursday.
The mother, Ali Cleek, tried to put on the mask on her daughter under the watchful eye of two cabin employees. But the child kept taking the cap off because she wanted to suck her thumb, says Cleek.
At one point, one of the flight attendants is said to have had enough of the 2-year-old toddler’s crying and disobedience. She first sarcastically proposed to the mother to make a hole in the mouth cap, but then she came up with a proposal that shocked Cleek.
The flight attendant suggested glueing the mouth cap to the toddler’s face. She said they had glue on board the plane. It’s not entirely clear whether this was sarcastic as well, but it’s hard to imagine it was a serious option.
“I just know that whether it was sarcasm or not, I was ashamed and tried to follow the mandate as best I could,” Cleek said in a statement to Fox News. She burst into tears after the comment. “My daughter is two. We did everything we could to abide by the rules.”
Cleek emphasizes that she respects that masks are mandatory on aeroplanes, but that there should also be some humanity and compassion if it is not possible to make a toddler obey. Southwest Airlines allegedly promised her that the matter would be discussed with the cabin crew.
In a statement to Fox News, the airline said that passengers are reminded several times, even before the flight, to wear a mask on the plane. Southwest will not comment on the matter.
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