Amanda Pendarvis is an Oklahoma woman who was kicked off an American Airlines plane with her 2-year-old by a flight attendant named Carl because the asthmatic toddler wasn’t wearing his mask properly. Video of the incident went viral after it was posted on Instagram and Facebook by Pendarvis on September 14, 2021, sparking backlash against American Airlines and Carl the flight attendant.
Pendarvis, a 30-year-old artist, and her son, Waylon, and Pendarvis’ mother, Dedee Roberts Blaik, were escorted off a plane bound from Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas to Colorado Springs on September 13 after a flight attendant asked her to pull the boy’s mask up over his mouth and nose, according to Pendarvis’ Facebook post. The plane had been waiting on the tarmac for about 40 minutes, she said, before the incident. Pendarvis said they had no issues on the first leg of their journey, from Oklahoma City to Dallas-Fort Worth, as they headed to visit her in-laws in Colorado.
After they were forced to deplane, Pendarvis and her family were met by police and eventually put on a later flight by other American Airlines employees, she said in her Instagram story. Pendarvis said, “I was not refusing a mask. Nor did I even say I wouldn’t try to keep a mask on my son. We were escorted off the plane as I was holding a mask over his little face. I genuinely don’t have words.” Pendarvis, who thanked the police and other employees who helped them get on another flight, added about flight attendant Carl, “American Airlines, THIS is what you have representing you.”
American Airlines said in a statement, “On Sept. 13, American Airlines flight 1284 returned to the gate prior to departure from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to deplane a party refusing to comply with crew member instructions to remain seated while on an active taxiway and to wear face coverings securely over their nose and mouth. After agreeing to adhere to policies instituted for the safety of our customers and crew, all individuals were rebooked for travel on the next flight to Colorado Springs (COS).”
Watch the video and learn more about the incident involving Amanda Pendarvis, her son and American Airlines flight attendant Carl below:
The Video Shows Amanda Pendarvis’ Son Coughing & Crying as She Holds Him While the American Airlines Flight Attendant Apologizing for the Delay Due to a ‘Non-Compliant Traveler’
The videos posted by Pendarvis show her son coughing and crying as she holds him while they sit on the flight. She also said the flight attendant, Carl, made an announcement saying, “I’m sorry for the delay but we are dealing with a non-compliant traveler.” The videos do not show the flight attendant or what he said to Pendarvis. She also posted a video showing three police officers waiting for her and her toddler as they exited onto the jetway.
Pendarvis called it the “most humiliating/traumatizing experience,” and blamed it on a “truly evil power-tripping flight attendant named Carl with American Air.” She said, “He had the plane turned around and has escorted off to be met by police officers. Why? Wait for it…Because my 2 year old was not properly wearing a mask. Scroll to see how hard I was trying. Mind you. Way is asthmatic. We showed him a negative COVID test Way had yesterday. Told him he had asthma and has never worn a mask before. He did not care that this asthmatic child was literally hyperventilating.”
American Airlines said in a statement that CDC and TSA directives require anyone over the age of 2 to wear face coverings on flights. The airline said requests for exemptions to the mask mandate must be made at least 72 hours before departure if a negative COVID test and documentation from a licensed health care professional can be provided.
Pendarvis Accused Flight Attendant Carl of Being on a ‘Sick Power Trip’ & Said ‘I’m Sure the Other Passengers Appreciated Being 2 Hours Late Due to Your Heroic Attempt of Saving the World From Our 2-Year-Old’
In a Facebook post, Pendarvis wrote, “On the flight from OKC to Dallas, our flight attendant truly could not have been more kind or friendly. He was SO sweet to Waylon, and fully empathized with how difficult traveling with a toddler can be. Nobody once acknowledged that Way was not wearing a mask. BUT THEN.” She wrote:
We boarded our flight from Dallas to Colorado Springs. Once the flight began lining up for take-off (which was taking off late as it was) we sat on the tarmac for about 40 minutes and a flight attendant named Carl approached me to say, ‘ma’am please contain your child, and pull up your mask’ because I was letting Waylon walk between the row because my mom was on the other side. I calmly replied, ‘sorry I’m trying to spare these other passengers of inevitable screaming, and since we haven’t taken off yet, I was trying to let him move around a bit before I have to put him in his seat.’ I also kept pulling up my mask that way naturally pulls down, and I also would pull on and off to eat crackers with Way (I feel CRAZY even having to explain these tiny ‘duh’ details…but I have gotten so many messages & questions on Instragram that I want to put every detail I can on this post) He had ZERO understanding, zero empathy; blatant judgment. I am just going to assume Carl doesn’t have children, because I can’t imagine another parent would talk down to a mother traveling with a toddler like that. ANYWAY. I get waylon into his seat like he asked, and Carl comes back over.
Pendarvis said Carl told her, “I will require that your son wear a mask through the remainder of this flight.” She said she responded, “Well he’s never worn one before and I can assure you he is going to fight it and scream, and I don’t know if the other passengers wants to sit through that…but okay, I will try my best.” She added:
I do just that. I’m trying to keep a mask on a 2 year old. He’s fighting it, crying, screaming. Another flight attendant passes my mom, she is a young woman and very friendly and understanding. My mom shows the woman his negative Covid test we got for him YESTERDAY, and told her he has asthma and asked if she would relay that to Carl…just in case we don’t have any luck getting the mask to stay on him. She said, ‘Absolutely…by the way, who said that to you? Was it HIM? (looks over at Carl in disgust like she has seen this behavior before)’ She brought Carl the negative Covid papers, and came back and said, ‘I showed him, but..I’m so sorry. Just keep feeding him and try your best, but I GET IT.’
My son has never worn a mask before, he was tired and fidgety and I couldn’t get him to keep the mask on. It escalated to the point he was covered in sweat, hysterical, and kept screaming ‘nooo, mama, NO!!!!!’ and he ripped a total of 3 different masks off of his face. At this point I’m literally just holding a broken mask over his face because I literally don’t know what else to do. He now is having difficulty breathing.
Carl keeps relaying everything to the pilot, and the pilot gets on the intercom for the first time to tell passengers, ‘well the hold up is now about a mask issue with a passenger and that the plane will be held until that is under control’ (cool….now I have a screaming toddler, and am being publicly shamed by the flight staff and am made to feel responsible for people having a delay getting to their next plane/destination)
She said her son had his first asthma attack two months ago and her family has a breathing machine for him in their home. She said during the “hysteria” on the plane they had to give him an emergency inhaler. She said after that they were asked to grab their bags and were escorted off the plane. She said a man behind them spoke up for them and other passengers mouthed, “I am so sorry” and “I feel so sorry for you guys” as they were led off. She said, “It was so awkward.” She continued:
A friendly man escorts us off the plane to 3 police officers who were very clearly expecting to contain a hysterical anti-masker who was flopping around. Nope. They are met with a 2 year old and mom with puffy faces from crying and his grandma —the two adults fully masked, totally mortified and shocked, and shook up about what just took place. THEY (the police) were embarrassed they were even there. My mom said (sarcastically…but I mean, sorry we are pretty pissed at this point?!) ‘oh, look we even get a police escort!’ They waved off and left (because, duh, we are of ZERO threat).
Then, a very wonderful lady who works for American, Simone Torquato, took us aside and just asked us what exactly was going on. I’m still crying at this point, but explain to her calmly exactly what just went down. She said when she saw us she thought, ‘there’s no way all of us were called about these two women and this TWO YEAR OLD’ She also said ultimately, it came down to the decision of the flight attendant and the pilot and there’s nothing they could do. She gave us her card, and told us to contact her when we are sorting through what we all went through. The other nice gentlemen (Ereal Lewis, Jr.) found us a flight that was boarding 10 minutes from when we got off the original plane, and they gave the new crew an update of what just happened before we arrived to the new gate. We finally made it to Colorado Springs, and Way could not have been better behaved on that flight (and no, we did not try to force a mask on him this time around).
Pendarvis wrote a message she said she hopes reaches the flight attendant Carl, ” want you to know I am an optimistic, see-the-best-and-hope-the-best-in-the-human-race kind of person. I don’t like playing the victim, and I kept trying to convince myself you were eventually going to show SOME decency to, at the LEAST, my beautiful little boy.” She continued:
You showed me, my son and my mother ZERO humanity as soon as you opened your mouth to speak to us. We complied, I tried my best, and your passive aggressive, ‘I just want you to have a fun plane ride’ with the most disingenuous smile will forever be one of the most disappointing human interreactions I have ever had. This was not about you protecting passengers or having human beings and their HEALTH in mind. If that was the case, you would have certainly—WITHOUT QUESTION—realized that a TWO-YEAR-OLD who is sweating, hysterical, has zero concept of why his mother is forcing a mask on his face, has a NEGATIVE Covid test, and is having asthmatic complications due to the absolute hysteria is NOT a health threat to other passengers. However, y o u DID put my son’s health at risk. Naturally, I did break down while you were talking to me, and I said to you through tears while holding my crying baby, “why are you being SO mean to me?” you didn’t answer me.
She added, “You couldn’t answer that question honestly, because if you allowed yourself to dig, the only honest answer you would be able to land on was you were on some sick power-trip and for whatever reason, wanted to make my family and me an example of how much “power” you have. I hope you sleep well at night. I’m sure the other passengers appreciated being 2 hours late due to your heroic attempt of saving the world from our 2 year old 🙄”
Pendarvis also wrote, “I don’t know why, but I feel the need to add this disclaimer: this is NOT a political issue that took place today, it’s a human issue.”
The TSA Has Doubled Fines for Passengers Who Defy Mask Rules Amid a Series of Mid-Air Meltdowns & Altercations Sparked by the Face-Covering Rule
The TSA doubled fines for passengers who do not follow mask rules in September 2021 after a series of incidents involving people having outbursts or attacking flight crews and flight attendants over the facemask requirements.
The White House announced the plan as part of President Joe Biden’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The TSA said in a press release the new fines took effect on September 10, 2021, with $500 to $1,000 fines for first-time offenders and $1,000 to $3,000 fines for repeat offenders.
“President Biden’s Executive Order, Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, directed applicable agencies to take action to require mask-wearing in airports and on certain modes of public transportation, including on many airplanes, trains, maritime vessels, and intercity bus services,” the White House said. “TSA has extended its implementing orders for air and ground travel through January 18th, 2022, and the President’s plan will double fines for those who are not in compliance. The President’s plan will also ensure that masking requirements remain in place on the other modes of transportation as we continue to battle COVID-19.”
The FAA said in an August 2021 press release, “Since Jan. 1, 2021, the FAA has received approximately 3,889 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 2,867 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal facemask mandate.” More than $1 million in fines have been issued.
“Wearing a mask protects the traveling public and all of the personnel who make the travel experience safe, secure, and comfortable. We will continue to enforce the mask mandate as long as necessary to protect public health and safety,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. TSA Administrator David Pekoske added, “We appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize the protections for those who use and work within the transportation system, and to contain COVID-19. By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence.”
Biden said during a speech to the nation about the pandemic, “If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong, it’s ugly.”