A woman was removed from an American Airlines flight, reportedly because of language on a mask she was wearing.
Arlinda Johns shared a video of the incident on her social media accounts at the end of the July. The video begins with her covering her original mask with another one as the plane she is on drives toward the runway.
Her original mask read “F*** 12”, and she was asked by an airline attendant to cover it up because of the language.
The number “12” in this use is a reference to law enforcement. Johns told Local 10 News she is an “abolitionist” and supports efforts to “defund and abolish the police.”
She says after she put on the new mask, the flight attendant returned and told Johns, “I better not see that other mask.” Johns says she responded, “I said, ‘Leave me alone, lady.’ She stood there, she said, ‘okay, I got you.’”
“Everything she asked me to do, I did,” Johns said in her video.
The video shows the plane driving back to the gate in Charlotte and Johns being asked to leave the plane.
During the conversation with security, Johns repeatedly asks not to be called sir and asks for an explanation why she is being removed. The gentleman does not elaborate and only says she has to get off the plane.
Once inside the airport, Johns again asks why she was removed. Toward the end of the video, a gentleman escorting her away from the gate tells her she cannot get on another flight that day because of her “disruptive behavior.”
— Tray (@Traymason3) July 30, 2020
An airline spokesperson said in a statement to 10 Local News the plane returned to the gate, "after [Johns] refused to follow crew member instructions to remove or cover a face mask with offensive language." The statement continues that Johns initially complied with requests but later “continued to display the inappropriate language.”
Johns rented a car to get to her destination, she was originally flying to St. Louis.