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Family kicked off flight after toddler refuses to wear mask

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 11:55 AM EST
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DENVER (KMGH) – What was supposed to be a trip to visit family and friends ended in frustration for a Colorado couple.

Eliz Fulop and her husband Erhard Orban said this wasn’t their first time traveling with their 2-year-old daughter during the pandemic.

They always fly United Airlines.

“We flew in October. That was the last time we flew with her,” Fulop said.

“And no problem. They’ve just been so nice, like, ‘Do you need us to bring her a snack, or a coloring book?’”

But a recent trip was different. Their 2-year-old was required to wear a mask during the flight, something the parents said they tried to help her with.

“My goal was not to cause a scene,” Orban said. “The harder I tried to put the mask on, the more she was screaming.”

After the plane left the gate, they heard a message.

“The pilot came back on the radio and said, ‘We have a customer issue that we have to take care of. It’s going to take 10 or 15 minutes,’” Orban said.

When the family questioned United, they said they were simply told those were the guidelines.

In a statement, United Airlines said in part: “The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have a multi-layered set of policies, including mandating that everyone onboard 2 and older wears a mask.”

Similar guidelines are also in place at Delta and Southwest.

United said the family’s bags were returned and their money was refunded, and that they’re welcome to fly with United again in the future.

“Watching that is really hard as a mother,” Fulop said of the incident. “Also knowing that we put (our daughter) through that.”

Copyright 2020 KMGH via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.