Spirit Airlines bans Wisconsin family for violating mask policy

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PLYMOUTH, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Mask mandates have become a part of life, but a Wisconsin family said they're being unfairly punished for a minor slip up while traveling on Spirit Airlines.

Airlines started requiring face masks soon after the pandemic got underway.

While there was some wiggle room at first, they've gotten stricter.

Spirit Airlines banned one Wisconsin family for two years.

"We were just sitting waiting for the plane to take off and me and my sister were watching a movie together," said Spirit passenger Chloe Kastelic.

While waiting to take flight from Fort Meyers, Florida, a flight attendant asked her to fix her face mask.

"I heard someone say, hey, can you pull your mask over your nose, and I pulled it over my nose and that was basically it," said Kastelic.

The flight was in November, so she was surprised to get a letter from Spirit on Dec. 12.

"We're no longer allowed to fly with them for two years and if we want to fly with them again we have to write them a letter," said Kastelic, describing the letter's contents.

Spirit banned Kastelic and her dad. CBS 58 reached out to the airline to ask what the flight crew reported but we have not heard back.

The air travel website "The Points Guy" reported back in August Spirit Airlines is the strictest of the airlines when it comes to masks.

"It's really a mess quite frankly, its really a hodgepodge of different policies at each airport and each airline," said Consumer Reports Aviation Advisor Bill McGee.

The federal government gives airlines the choice to set their own policies. Over the summer, the airlines' trade group reported travel bans for maskless passengers could happen. Still, it caught Kastelic by surprise.

"They didn't say if, you know, if it falls below your nose you can't ever fly with us again," said Kastelic.

The same day the Kastelics flew, another Spirit flight at O'Hare airport was delayed for two passengers refusing to follow the mask mandate. They eventually got off the plane when police were called.

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