Spirit Investigates As Passenger Spotted Using Questionable Mask

As airports and airlines around the world are now instituting mandatory face mask policies, travelers have had to comply by obtaining their own supplies. The overwhelming majority of airlines note that any type of ‘face-covering’ is sufficient, often mentioning scarves as suitable substitutes for a proper mask. However, one man has tested the limits of Spirit Airlines’ face-covering policy by donning women’s underwear…

Spirit airlines A321
The incident took place at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Photo: Getty Images

Pushing the limits of ‘face coverings’

About 10 days ago, Spirit Airlines instituted a mandatory face mask policy onboard its flights. The airline’s position, posted on its website, reads:

“To protect the health and safety of our Guests and Team Members, Spirit requires appropriate face coverings during travel. Children aged 2 and under, as well as children who cannot maintain a face covering, will be exempt.”

Unfortunately, some travelers interpreted the term ‘appropriate face covering’ to include women’s underwear. Now, Spirit Airlines is investigating the incident, which took place recently during a flight out of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Reaction to the incident

People took to Twitter, reacting to the absolutely bizarre and absurd news.

We almost daily reach another level of stupid in this country…. writes one user. Another individual commented by saying “It was only a matter of time really.”

Spirit Airlines’ acknowledges the incident, saying that it has taken action internally to ensure further compliance with CDC-issued guidance. It goes on to say,

“Agents screen Guests during the boarding process to ensure they have an appropriate mask or face covering consistent with CDC guidelines. Our Flight Attendants also respectfully inform Guests of the policy in line with existing guidelines for managing Guest conduct.”

The airline further emphasizes that taking care of its Guests and Team Members is and has always been an absolute priority. In addition to the face-covering requirement, Spirit Airlines also implemented enhanced cleaning procedures, and the use of HEPA filters onboard its aircraft.

Face masks Argentina passengers
Face masks have increasingly become a requirement at airports and on aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Funny, but not funny…

We’ve already seen a wide variety of strange and inventive ways that people are coping with the threat of airborne infection. Photos shared on the internet have ranged from water-jug face shields to face masks made out of bras and birthday party hats. While some methods may be considered inventive and effective, others seem to flout health and safety regulations. This most recent case aboard a Spirit Airlines flight is most certainly the latter.

Indeed, if we examine this from a technical point of view, the underwear worn is a piece of cloth covering the face. However, common sense should dictate that the point of a face covering is to limit the spread of droplets emitted during talking, sneezing, and coughing. The type of fabric and the loose fit of the underwear’s cut clearly does not contain germs.

Therefore, this stunt could very well have put lives at risk and spread the virus further at a time when it is still not under control in many parts of the United States.

What do you think about this incident? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.