FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida man said United Airlines kicked him off a flight Wednesday morning after he tried to test a federal mask mandate by wearing a pair of women's underwear on his face.
Adam Jenne argued that the underwear complied with the Transportation Security Administration's mask mandate. United Airlines disagrees.
Jenne opposes the federal regulation requiring travelers to wear masks in airports and on airplanes to limit the spread of COVID-19. The rule will remain in place until at least May.
Jenne made clear he was trying to follow a rule he considers to be "silly" in a silly way. He also says it wasn't the first time he's tried the stunt. He claims he was also asked to leave a Delta Airlines flight earlier this year for attempting to wear underwear as a mask.
"There's nothing more absurd than having to wear a mask until I get to cruising altitude so that I can order Tito's by the double and snack on pretzels, and illustrating that absurdity by wearing women's underwear on my face sounds perfect," Jenne said.
The staff on United Airlines flight 1750 from Fort Lauderdale to Washington, D.C., didn't find Jenne's stunt to be funny.
Video taken by a fellow passenger showed United workers removing Jenne from the plane, saying his "mask" wasn't in compliance with their rules.
United Airlines' website says masks should not have any vents or openings and should fully cover a person's nose and mouth.
The video also shows other passengers leaving the plane in support of Jenne. One passenger asked a United worker if Jenne had been kicked off the plane for wearing a mask.
"Thank you to them because they saw something, an injustice, something that didn't make sense, and they stood up," Jenne said.
Jenne says United has informed him that he is banned from future flights on the airline until his case has been reviewed by the company's Passenger Incident Review Committee.
Jenne feels he was in the right.
"Your rights end where mine begin. You don't get to tell me how I conduct myself," Jenne said.
"The customer clearly wasn't in compliance with the federal mask mandate and we appreciate that our team addressed the issue on the ground prior to takeoff, avoiding any potential disruptions in the air," United Airlines said in a statement Wednesday.
This story was originally published by Rob Manch on Scripps station WFTX in Fort Myers, Florida.