A Florida man was kicked off a United flight for using a thong as a mask to protest the airline’s mask mandate.
The passenger, Adam Jenne, told local news outlet NBC2 that he believes he was in compliance with the airline’s mask mandate, as the thong covered both his nose and mouth on the Dec 15. flight between Ft. Lauderdale and Washington, D.C.
Airline staff, however, disagreed — and removed him from the flight.
Jenne — who compared himself to civil rights icon Rosa Parks — said that he had previously worn a thong as a mask on several previous flights, with varied responses from crew members.
“Every single flight has been met with different reactions from the flight crew,” Jenne told NBC2. “Some with a wild appreciation, others confrontational.”
In a statement, United said that it stands behind its staff’s decision to remove Jenne. The airline said that “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 on the air.”
United did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
Jenne has been banned from the airline until his case is reviewed by the Passenger Incident Review Committee, according to local outlet WTFX, which also spoke with Jenne.
Additionally, he told WTFX that approximately a dozen passengers left the plane following his anti-mask protest.
One man, he said, asked the cabin crew, “Did he just get kicked off for wearing a mask? I’m out of here, forget it. I’m out of here.”
Federal authorities and airline staff have stepped up efforts to clamp down on unruly passengers following a string of high-profile incidents.
In late September, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said it has received more than 4,300 reports of unruly passenger incidents, the vast majority of which were related to masks.