DENVER, CO — A family of three was forced to de-board a plane in Denver recently due to a mask violation involving their young child.
Eliz and Erhard Orban say this wasn't the first time traveling with their two-year-old daughter during the pandemic and they always fly United Airlines.
"We flew in October. That was the last time we flew with her. And no problem. They've been so nice, like 'do you need us to bring her a snack, a coloring book,'" said Eliz.
But this time was different.
Their two-year-old was required to wear a mask during the flight which the parents said they tried to do.
"My goal was not to cause a scene. The harder I tried to put the mask on, the more she was screaming," said Erhard.
After the plane left the gate they heard a message.
"The pilot came back on the radio and said, 'we have a customer issue that we have to take care of. It's going to take ten or fifteen minutes," said Erhard.
When the family questioned United, they were simply told those were the guidelines.
In a statement, United Airlines says in part "The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have a multi-layered set of policies, including mandating that everyone on-board two and older wears a mask."
Similar guidelines are also in place at Delta and Southwest.
"Watching that is really hard as a mother. Also knowing that we put her through that," said Eliz.
United says the family's bags were returned, their money refunded and are welcome to fly with United again in the future.