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Canadian airline cancels flight after two toddlers did not wear facemasks

A Canadian WestJet flight was cancelled and police were called because two kids were not wearing masks.

Safwan Choudhry said the airline wanted his 19-month-old to wear a mask, but the baby girl would not stop crying.

The airline says the issue was not with the infant, who is below the age required to wear a mask, but with Mr Choudhry’s three-year-old.

The flight travelling from Calgary to Toronto was stopped, and all passengers were ordered to disembark.




Family’s Version:

Mr Choudhry said his oldest daughter, who is three, was eating a snack before take-off when flight attendants approached them asking that both their children wear a mask. He said he and his wife were masked.

He said he asked if his daughter could finish her snack, but that they said they had a “zero tolerance policy” and would not close the plane door without her wearing a mask. Mr Choudhry said he agreed to put one on immediately.

He says the three-year-old did put on a mask, after some fussing.



“But my younger one had a very difficult time, she was basically hysterical.”

Mr Choudhry says she was so upset she vomited.

He says WestJet was aggressive, and told them that because his youngest daughter was not wearing a mask, and was too upset to wear a mask, the whole family would have to leave.

He says they told them that if they did not leave, they could be arrested, charged and receive prison time.

Mr Choudhry says he and his wife were respectful. They ultimately agreed to leave.

WestJet’s Version:

“Due to non-compliance of the parents to place a mask on their older child who is over the age of two, our crew informed the adults of the regulations we are required to follow,” the airline said in a statement.

“Our crew requested the presence of the authorities after the guests refused to comply with Transport Canada’s interim order and subsequently refused to deplane the aircraft.”

A video taken with Mr Choudhry’s phone shows his older daughter wearing a mask on the plane, after police arrived on board.




When flight staff called police, Mr Choudhry and his family got off the plane, and the flight was eventually cancelled and rebooked for the next day.

“Due to the rapid escalation of the situation on board, our crew felt uncomfortable to operate and the flight was subsequently cancelled,” WestJet said.

The police officer later said, when he arrived in the oldest child was wearing a mask.

Police did not file any charges.