- The Washington Times
Friday, January 21, 2022

OPINION:

An American Airlines plane headed to London was more than hour into its flight when its pilot decided to turn around and head back to the departure point, Miami, because a female passenger declined to wear a face mask.

What a petty, unnecessary move.


On top of that, the airline then canceled the flight, screwing over 129 passengers who were told to exit, stage right, the plane in Miami, alongside the woman.

And now American Airlines is patting itself on the back for a job well done.

“We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” the airline said in a statement.

American, no doubt, is hiding behind the January 2021 announcement from the Federal Aviation Administration of a “zero tolerance” policy for unruly passenger behavior — defined by this coronavirus crazed government we now have in place in the United States as anyone who dares disobey the government dictates. And plenty in America, too many in America, are probably on the side of the airline, saying American was just doing its job to keep passengers safe; American was just abiding the mandates put in place by the Joe Biden presidency; American was just simply trying to keep the peace and make sure all passengers were treated equally, fairly, equitably, safely, securely. Yada, yada, yada. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Enough.

Enough of the pretend care and concern on the part of businesses toward customers — care and concern that manifests in outright tyrannical crackdowns on freedoms and choice of customers. And all the sheep bleat, “But nobody made this women fly! Nobody forced her to take a plane! She knew the rules; she broke the rules!”

Let’s remember: these rules aren’t so much rules as fabricated dictates by overreaching bureaucrats. In America, law and order is supposed to guide, not government orders. Legislators are supposed to pass laws based on voters’ wills — and two-plus years into this pandemic, America has yet to see a federally passed law about face masking.

We’re all still living under executive orders that were created out of fear and that continue on because of fear, bad science and the political exploitation of bad science.

Besides, with American Airlines, there’s this consideration: the multibillion-dollar bailout it received, courtesy taxpayers. 

American Airlines said it would receive $5.8 billion as part of the [bailout deal], with more than $4 billion in the form of grants and the remaining $1.7 billion as a low-interest loan,” The New York Times wrote in March, 2021. “The airline also plans to apply for a nearly $4.8 billion loan from [the government].”

It wasn’t just American; a total of $79 billion went to several different airlines whose executives cried wolf about dwindling revenues due to the coronavirus economic shutdowns. But American took a lion’s share. That — so American could turn around and cancel hundreds of flights due to staffing issues, while taking big tax bucks. That — so American’s CEO, Doug Parker, could turn around and rake in $10 million plus in compensation while taking big tax bucks.

And now that — so American can climb high and mighty and throw a hissy fit to boot a passenger for refusing to wear a face mask.

If airlines are going to take tax dollars, they better treat tax paying passengers like the employers they then become. Instead of booting this woman for refusing to comply with an unconstitutional demand from public servants, i.e., the political class, American Airlines ought to have extended her a red carpet for keeping the company in business. Biting the hand that feeds never ends well.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.


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