It turns out that Brandon doesn’t get to go, as a man with a Let’s Go Brandon face mask was booted off a recent flight. The offensive (to some) face mask is, according to this airline, against FAA regulations. But, see, it’s not.
Writing “Let’s go Brandon” on your face mask is kinda dumb, in our opinion. Is it really worth the hassle? Does it really make a big point? I dunno, maybe. That said, this airline and its employee were dead wrong when they booted a passenger off a recent flight after he wrote the phrase on his face mask.
An Allegiant Air flight employee – perhaps a gate agent or flight attendant, informed a man wearing a nondescript face mask that he was in violation of an FAA regulation and could either change his mask or be removed from the plane. His sin? Apparently, he had written the controversial phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” on the mask.
Of course, this phrase is now locked in the zeitgeist after a reporter misheard a crowd chanting something far less polite when interviewing a race car driver. What they were actually saying was, “F*ck Joe Biden!”
Throngs of people disenchanted with the state of the country, the president and COVID lockdowns have turned the chant into a rallying cry. T-shirts, face masks, social media posts, hats, etc, share this phrase in varying ways.
You can even buy face masks with the phrase on it and as we shared a few weeks ago, you can get removed for it, but not because it’s an FAA violation. No, instead the airline can remove you as part of their offensive clothing policies.
Fellow BoardingArea blogger Live and Let’s Fly shared an official statement from Allegiant that hinted a larger context not seen in the video.
The video in question depicts part of an incident involving a passenger who failed to comply with repeated crew member requests to adhere to the federal face mask policy…. The passenger was removed from the flight and issued a refund for his fare. Disregarding instructions from flight crew members is prohibited by federal regulations and is grounds for removal from a flight where such conduct creates an unsafe environment. The decision to remove a passenger is never made lightly and is always done with the safety of our passengers and crew in mind. In April, the FAA adopted a zero-tolerance policy against unruly passenger behavior, which includes failure to comply with crew members’ instructions. We welcome the FAA’s renewed strong stance on unruly passengers, understanding the safety risk such incidents can create for both passengers and crewAllegiant Statement shared on Live and Let’s Fly
This airline was wrong for the reasons they stated, but with their own policies, they could have been right. We don’t see this as a matter of free speech; you are riding on a private company’s airline, and if they deem this offensive, so be it. We’d prefer, however, that it be consistently enforced. And the trick with “offensive stuff” is that it’s almost always an opinion. The subjective nature of it makes it hard to find the right place to draw the line.
How about you, reader? Offensive? Let it go?