(CNN) – Tensions over the face mask led to the removal of a passenger from American Airlines flight on Wednesday as airlines imposed stricter security measures.
Passenger Brandon Straka was asked to disembark from a flight from New York to Dallas after refusing to wear a face mask as required by American Airlines policy, the airline confirmed in a statement.
This is the first known incident of this type since the airlines announced plans for the strictest imposition of the mask.
American Airlines confirmed the incident on flight 1263 from New York’s LaGuardia to Dallas / Fort Worth, saying Straka refused to wear a face mask.
“After refusing to comply with the instructions given by the flight crew, our team members asked him to be discouraged. He paid and the flight left the gate four minutes late at 12:34 pm ET,” she said. airline in a statement.
Straka was re-operated on a later flight after agreeing to comply with the company’s policies, the airline said, and the American contacted him for more information about the incident. Straka said she was wearing a mask provided by the company, but took it off when she was on the plane and no one complained.
Strakas told CNN in a telephone interview that the flight was near departure when “one of the flight attendants came to me very aggressively and said, ‘Sir, you have to wear your mask.’ “And I said, ‘I don’t have any.’
Straka is a conservative figure who has appeared on Fox News. He is described on his website as a former liberal who encourages people to leave the Democratic Party.
When asked about the masks, Straka said it was an anti-mask for himself, but he saw it as a personal decision. Along with T-shirts and other items, Straka sells masks on his website.
The flight attendant said he had to wear a mask to be on the flight, Straka said, and said it was legal.
“I was just annoyed that there was no conversation. I told her, “It’s not really a law.”
When asked by CNN if he has a medical condition, Straka declined to comment, but said: “It’s hard and forbidden to wear a mask, yes.”
He said he never had a problem not wearing a mask on flights.
“I sometimes fly two or three times a week, and even when I do, I fly at least once every two weeks. I’m quite used to traveling and that was literally never a problem. Not once, not even with this airline, “Straka said.
While US Air Force officials have not authorized the coverage of airline passengers, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration said at a ceremony in Congress on Wednesday that passengers are expected to wear masks when guided by flight attendants.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in his statement that travelers should wear face masks “for their own protection and the protection of those around them. Face masks are especially important in situations where social distance is not possible.”
CNN’s Pete Muntean and Gregory Wallace contributed to the report.