A video a family posted to Facebook got them kicked off their flight to Austin because their two-year-old son wasn’t wearing a face mask. A local pilot who found out about the Harvey family’s situation stepped in to save the day with his private plane.
Erik Harvey, his wife Michelle, and their son Jackson were scheduled to depart from Denver to Austin with Southwest Airlines on April 1st. The family who was already aware of the federal mask mandate for all customers taking flight over the age of 2 knew they needed to put their son’s face mask on before they were set to take off.
“I practiced with him at least two or three times at the house and every time he threw it off, but I figured that Southwest would work with us on the plan because he is only 2 years old,” said Michelle.
Michelle added when they boarded the plane, Jackson did indeed have his mask on. It wasn’t until they took their seats that Jackson took it off. “The flight attendant approached me and right as she walked up to me, Jackson took off his mask. She said, ‘I’m sorry ma’am. You are going to have to get off the plane. Your son needs to wear his mask’.”
Southwest Airlines released a statement saying in part:
“We regret the inconvenience this family experienced on their recent Southwest Airlines trip. However, federal law requires all Customers two and over to wear a face mask while at the airport and onboard the aircraft. This is communicated to Customers in multiple areas including during the booking process, checking in, boarding, and pre-flight messaging. Our Customer Relations Team has reached out to the Customers to further discuss the situation. We appreciate the ongoing support and spirit of cooperation among Southwest Customers and Employees as we take care of each other while striving to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
The video the family posted was 18 minutes long and quickly rose to over 1,000 views. One of the viewers being that of an old family friend, James Peck.
“I have a family of my own and it’s not impossible to get your kids to be awesome on a flight, but to get them to be able to keep a mask on the entire time has its challenges,” Peck said.
James Peck has been a pilot for over seven years. After watching the video the family posted to Facebook, he took It upon himself to help the family during this tough time. “I knew that I could use that as a great excuse to go take a flight and help them out and get them to their destination.”
Peck flew his twin-engine airplane to Denver, picking the family of three up, and flew them to Austin himself and didn’t charge them a dime.
“I was just floored. I just said to my husband, ‘You know what, babe? I’m nervous, but I feel like turning him down would be rude like this is an opportunity,” Michelle told her husband.
Peck even has offered to fly them back to Denver at the end of their trip.
“The miracles will come to you, things will show you, and that Good Samaritans will show up, “Eric added.