New Yorker booted off flight to Trump rally for not wearing face mask

A self-described “former liberal” from the Big Apple headed to Oklahoma to attend President Trump’s weekend rally was booted off an American Airlines flight for refusing to wear a face mask.

Brandon Straka, a conservative personality who founded the #WalkAway Campaign to encourage people to leave the Democratic Party, boarded Flight 1263 at LaGuardia on Wednesday for a flight to Tulsa via Dallas.

“I was just removed from my flight for not wearing a mask. 1st time this has happened. Not a federal law,” Straka said in a tweet.

“@AmericanAir staff standing over me telling me it’s THE LAW. So much for ‘please respect those who can not wear a mask’. When I pointed out this wasn’t a law I was removed,” he wrote.

Straka added: “Entire episode is filmed. AFTER removing me flight manager says they made a mistake. They had no right to ask you that.”

American Airlines — along with United and Delta — announced stricter safety measures earlier this week, including “a stronger policy for customer face coverings” for the “safety and well-being of customers and team members.”

The carrier said “it already requires customers to wear a face-covering while onboard aircraft. American already enforces this policy at the gate and will deny boarding to customers who don’t comply.

“American now may also deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering,” it added. “Some passengers are exempt from the face-covering requirement, such as young children and those with a disability or medical reason for why they cannot wear a face covering.”

An American Airlines rep told The Post on Thursday that Straka refused to wear a mask.

“After he refused to comply with the instructions provided by the flight crew, our team members asked him to deplane. He deplaned and the flight departed the gate four minutes late at 12:34 p.m. ET,” the spokesperson said in an email, adding that the Boeing 737, which has 172 seats, was carrying 122 passengers.

“Mr. Straka stated to our airport team members that he would comply with our policies, and was rebooked on a later flight. Our team is reviewing this incident, and we have reached out to Mr. Straka to get more information.”

In other comments on Twitter, Straka claimed Black Lives Matter protesters don’t wear face masks.

“It’s fascinating how the ppl saying ‘It’s dangerous for him to not wear a mask’ have been cheering tens of thousands of maskless BLM rioters gathering for weeks; & saying ‘private company, don’t like it then leave’- cheer on destroying cake bakers who exercise private co policy,” he wrote.

Straka did not immediately respond to a message left by The Post on Thursday morning.

“This is insane. Absolutely insane,” he said in a video he posted on Periscope, according to ABC News. “We don’t even have a choice anymore. It’s not the law, as you know, it’s not the law.”

He told the news outlet that after being removed from the plane he disclosed to the airline that he couldn’t wear a mask because of a medical condition.

Straka claimed that the cabin crew had initially told him that wearing a mask was the “law,” as opposed to company policy, according to Business Insider.

“Literally the whole staff was standing round me intimidating me,” he said, adding that airline personnel later apologized to him for asking about a medical condition.

When asked by CNN whether he has a medical condition, he declined to comment but said, “I find it difficult and prohibitive to wear a mask, yes,” adding that he has never had a problem with not wearing a mask on flights.

“I fly sometimes two or three times a week, and even during shutdown, I was flying a minimum of once every two weeks. I am quite used to traveling and this has literally never been an issue. Not one single time, even with this airline,” Straka told the network.

New York Times reporter Astead Herndon, who was aboard the plane, wrote on Twitter that “there is currently a mutiny on my flight to tulsa (via dallas) because a guy is refusing to wear a mask and the flight can’t take off.”

In another tweet, he wrote: “he said you never even asked me if I had a condition that makes me incapable of wearing a mask. The flight attendant was like well do you. He said yes. She asked if he had paperwork and he said no.”

Herndon added: “dude is dunking on flight attendants who were very respectful of his fit.”

“Not only did this guy hold up the entire flight he is fabricating how the interaction went with the flight attendants for some twitter likes,” he said.

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