Southwest flight attendants call for end to federal mask mandate
ORLANDO, Florida. – A union representing 16,000 flight attendants in the Southwest joins calls for an end to the federal mask mandate on planes.
The union sent a letter to federal officials and the White House on Thursday.
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The group cites the dramatic drop in cases and an increase in verbal and physical attacks related to warrant enforcement.
Willis Orlando, of the Scott’s Cheap Flights website, said there had been an increase in unruly passengers due to the mask mandate.
“One of the biggest things they say is, ‘We’re tired of this showdown we’re having on the flights,'” Orlando said. “We’re looking at a summer with more demand than we’ve seen since 2019. We’re looking at a huge summer of travel and they don’t want to deal with employees struggling and quitting after struggling to build staff all throughout the pandemic.”
A month ago, a Louisiana man was removed from a Southwest flight at Orlando International Airport after he allegedly became enraged at being forced to wear a mask, according to an affidavit from ‘arrest. Police say Chad Breaux, 43, of River Ridge, was arrested after he was accused of causing a commotion during the flight, yelling and shouting at passengers, saying: ‘If you’re a man, you wouldn’t wear masks. ”
The letter comes a day after a group of airline executives sent a letter to President Joe Biden, calling for an end to the federal mask’s tenure. In the letter, officials from JetBlue, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines and others said the requirement “no longer aligns with the realities of the current epidemiological environment.”
The term is currently due to end on April 18.
The White House said it was consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to possibly end it sooner.
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