A 45-year-old Canadian citizen was removed from a Lufthansa flight to Vancouver at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. The airline refused to carry the gentleman after he refused to wear a mask. The police were called when he refused to disembark the aircraft leading to a two-hour delay.
Airlines across the world have been mandating masks for passengers for around nine months now. However, some passengers are still not entirely on-board with the idea. In fact, in the United States, Delta Air Lines has so far banned some 950 passengers from flying for refusing to wear masks, something which US President Joe Biden has mandated since assuming office.
Trouble on LH 492
According to the Frankfurt Airport Bundespolizei (Federal Police), there was a spot of bother on board a Lufthansa Airbus A330 on Monday morning. The aircraft had been due to depart from Frankfurt Airport at 10:05. However, a 45 year old Canadian refused to wear a mask.
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The airport police report that,
“Immediately after boarding, the man tried loudly to discuss [the mandatory mask policy] with the crew and massively insulted flight attendants and passengers traveling with them.”
As a result of the disturbance, the crew informed the gentleman that he would not fly with them to Vancouver. After refusing to deplane, the police were called to fetch the individual. The police have now started criminal proceedings for libel, in addition to administrative offense proceedings for violating the Aviation Security Act. The man also paid a security deposit of €1,028.50 ($1,231.87) before being allowed to proceed on a different flight.
A recent change in policy
Lufthansa recently altered its mandatory mask policy. While previously it allowed cloth masks since Monday, only surgical masks and FFP2/N95/KN95 masks have been accepted on board. Passengers with valid medical exemptions can travel without a face cover with a Lufthansa certificate signed by their doctor, in addition to a negative COVID-19 test.
A more common occurrence in Europe?
While passengers refusing to wear masks has been a typical story on flights from the United States, so far, this hasn’t been the case in Europe. Indeed, when asked by Simple Flying last year, Lufthansa’s Frankfurt Hub CEO, Klaus Froese, told us that the airline had seen no resistance to its mandatory mask policy.
However, in recent weeks, it seems as though violations have become more frequent. Two weeks ago, the Frankfurt Airport police obtained security deposits from two Russians traveling from Punta Cana to Moscow for refusing to wear masks onboard. They could be fined up to €25,000 each for violating the Aviation Security Act for not following crew instructions to wear the masks.
Yesterday FOX News reported that a 24-year-old man was arrested after refusing to wear a mask on a Ryanair flight from the Canary Islands. The man is alleged to have become violent with a flight attendant as a result of being under the influence of alcohol. The publication reports that he pleaded guilty to criminal damage, assault, and entering an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol.
Is mask denial becoming more of a problem in European skies? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!