A Southwest Airlines passenger in New York, USA, has sued the company after she was reportedly kicked off her flight for removing her mask to drink water.
In the complaint, which was filed in the New York Eastern District Court, Medora Clai Reading claimed that she was traveling from Washington DC to Florida when the incident happened.
She cited that during the incident, which took place on January 7, 2022, that she told a Southwest Airlines employee about her medical conditions, which includes difficulty in breathing, a heart condition, low blood sugar and claustrophobia.
The passenger also told the employee that drinking water helped her a lot with her medical issues but in the same complaint, she alleged that before boarding the plane, a supervisor told her that they do not care about her status.
Reading was seated at the front of the plane and said that she asked a flight attendant for a bottle of water once she got on the plane.
She also said that she showed the flight attendant her medical exemption card, however, the airline company told her that they did not care about the card and that she must cover her face all the time.
At one point, she started drinking water and was pointed out and shouted at by a flight attendant, who accused her of talking.
The gate attendant then told her to get off the flight while an unmasked pilot was laughing at her.
The passenger obliged and left the flight.
While she was being escorted out by the airport police, they told her that evictions from flights were happening far too often and most of the time the airline involved was “Southwest”.
Kristina Heuser, the attorney of Reading, accused Southwest of hostile and abusive conduct and COVID insanity.
She also claimed that a planeload full of witnesses saw the entire incident and some passengers also caught the incident on camera.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines released a statement about the incident.
We have no immediate comment to offer on this now-pending litigation, as we make an initial review of the complaint.
Reading said she was supposed to get a full refund for her planet ticket however she never received it.
In her court filing, she sued Southwest Airlines for $10,000,000.