A viral post alleged American Airlines staff kicked a 'hyperventilating' asthmatic child off a plane for not following mask guidelines

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A viral post alleged American Airlines staff kicked a 'hyperventilating' asthmatic child off a plane for not following mask guidelines
A person boards an airplane. MesquitaFMS/Getty Images
  • A woman said she and her son were ejected from an American Airlines flight over masking rules.
  • The woman alleged that her son was "hyperventilating" and she told attendants that he had asthma.
  • A spokesperson for American Airlines said they were never made aware of any breathing issues.

A series of Instagram stories went viral alleging that American Airlines kicked a mother and her two-year-old asthmatic son off a flight because the child wasn't properly wearing a mask while he was "hyperventilating," but the company said that no crew members were ever made aware that someone was having trouble breathing.

The Instagram stories were originally posted by the user @manasaywhaa, who identifies herself on her profile as Amanda Pendarvis. Although they're no longer available to view on Instagram, the Twitter user @yogarespecter tweeted screenshots of the stories on Tuesday, claiming to be a friend of Pendarvis. The post went viral and has amassed over 10,000 likes and almost 6,000 retweets.

In the first story screenshot, Pendarvis alleged that she, her mother, and her two-year-old son were escorted off an American Airlines flight because her child was not correctly wearing a mask. Pendarvis alleged that she told a flight attendant about her son's asthma condition and that her son was "hyperventilating," she wrote.

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In the second story screenshot, Pendarvis alleged that she was holding a mask over her son's face while they were being escorted off the aircraft. Another story screenshot showed three police officers standing in a jetway, which is the bridge that connects a plane to the airport terminal.

A video screen capture of Pendarvis' Instagram stories also went viral, with a tweet of them from the political commentator Clay Travis notching up over 6,000 likes and 2,000 retweets. In the one-minute video, Pendarvis could be seen clutching her son while the child appeared to be sobbing.

A spokesperson for American Airlines told to Insider that "a party" was ejected from the airplane, which they said was a flight from Dallas Fort-Worth to Colorado Springs on Monday. The spokesperson said the party did not comply with mask regulations nor follow instructions to remain seated.

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"After observing a minor in the party laying in the aisle and moving between seats on taxi out, our flight crew made multiple attempts reinforce [sic] safety requirements," the spokesperson said. "While addressing the party, our crew also reminded multiple individuals in the party that federal directives require them to wear a face covering at all times while on board unless actively eating or drinking."

"At no time was it made known to our crew members that a member of the party was experiencing an asthma attack or trouble breathing," the spokesperson added.

On Friday afternoon, Pendarvis posted a follow-up Instagram story, saying she was "incredibly disappointed" and alleged that American Airlines "decided to not stick to the absolute truth," appearing to reference the company's statement about the incident.

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Pendarvis did not respond to a request for comment.

According to CDC and TSA regulations, all Americans two-years-old and above are required to wear masks while inside airports and on flights.

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