American Airlines flight attendant accused of violating mask policy caught in photo

A single mom from Utah said she had been thrown off an American Airlines flight because her baby wouldn't wear a mask

Days after a single mom from Utah said she was thrown off an American Airlines flight because her crying baby wouldn’t wear a coronavirus mask, another traveler shared an image of one of the company’s flight attendants allegedly violating the same policy.

Steve Crawford, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania police officer, said he saw the woman’s story on the Fox News app and wanted to share the image that he took just days after she was forced to miss her connecting flight home. 

"It’s selective enforcement, and then the hypocrisy of your own employees not following the rules," he told FOX Business.

Air traveler Steve Crawford says he snapped this photo of a maskless flight attendant on an American Airlines from Fort Myers, Florida to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 23. (Courtesy: Steve Crawford)


He said that young children don’t fully understand the purpose of wearing coronavirus masks – and that they are less susceptible to the illness. 

"The mom’s in a position where the repercussions are what they are, and they kicked her off a flight," he said. "It’s just unbelievable."

The Utah woman said a flight attendant kicked her off a plane last week because her 2-year-old daughter was "fussing" with her mask and crying. The incident led to a 40-minute delay on the flight that prompted another passenger to unfurl a 1,700-word Facebook post decrying the attendant’s attitude, the delay and the treatment of that single mom – who physically had her hands full with baggage, a baby carrier, a toy and a blanket as she attempted to put her daughter’s mask on.

As she tried to board American Airlines flight 3573 earlier this month, hands full carrying a diaper bag, her purse, her daughter’s car seat and her daughter’s blanket and stuffed animal, she said a flight attendant blocked her from reaching her seat.

Adam Kissel tells FOX Business he took this image of an unmasked American Airlines attendant Saturday on a flight from Virginia to West Vriginia.

Adam Kissel tells FOX Business he took this image of an unmasked American Airlines attendant Saturday on a flight from Virginia to West Vriginia. (Courtesy: Adam Kissel)

The flight attendant gave her an adult-sized mask for the 2-year-old and told her to put it on the child.

"So I set her car seat down on this seat that was open in first class, because no one was sitting there," the mother said. "I tried to hurry and put it on her, and she was like, ‘No, you need to get completely off the plane and put it on.’"

The mother grabbed her belongings and ushered her daughter out on to the boarding bridge, holding up the rest of the passengers. She put the mask on her daughter, and they got back on the plane and found their seats.

Dan Holdt says this flight attendant "was particularly zealous about masking" on a United Airlines flight from Colorado to New Jersey on Jan. 1. (Courtesy: Holdt family)

But the girl was antsy, toying with the mask, and asked for her bottle. She said she was told her daughter had to mask up between sips.

"I took away her bottle, which didn’t go over well, and I was trying to get her to wear the mask, and she was fussing about it," the mother said. 

Moments later, before the flight took off, the mother said all passengers were ordered off the plane. Everyone but her and her child were allowed back on, resulting in a missed connection for her trip home and a 40-minute delay for everyone else.

An American Airlines Boeing 777 plane takes off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy-en-France near Paris, France, December 2, 2021. (Reuters/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo)


Crawford says he has a 2-year-old child of his own. And when he travels with her, he said, he has not been asked to put her mask on.

"I believe this is important because of the very obvious double standard applied and the abject hypocrisy and power hungry attitude of so many flight attendants; not to mention the difficulty in coaxing a toddler to mask for hours at a time," he said. "American Airlines is not the only one. This is something we’ve experienced in our own lives, with our child, about how overblown this whole thing is and how the hypocrisy just shows through."

In addition to Crawford, other FOX readers have also shared images that they say show flight attendants unmasking on the job -- including to read announcements over a loudspeaker.

An American Airlines spokesperson said that customers can contact the company to voice their concerns.


"Customers with concerns about their travel should reach out to our Customer Relations team, which will review the information and share it with appropriate leadership for any additional follow-up that may be required," a spokesperson told FOX Business.