SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield woman says she was harassed on an airplane she was traveling on because she was wearing a mask.
Physician Anne Egbert says she was cussed at, shamed and flipped off on the United Airlines flight.
“To get on the flight, you have to sign a form saying that you’re going to wear a mask,” said Egbert. “But people did not do that. They would wear it just enough to get on.”
Springfield-Branson National Airport’s spokesman Kent Boyd says it’s hard for airlines to enforce the masking rule.
“They [the airlines] don’t have the backing of the federal government, they have to come up with their own rules,” said Boyd. “So they tell people that you have to wear a mask when you get on the airplane, but there are those people who got on the airplane and taken the mask off, putting the airlines in a very difficult position.”
According to Boyd, the airport itself doesn’t have a masking requirement but definitely recommends wearing one.
“Please wear a mask when you come into the airport, we’ve done everything we can do to make the place as safe as possible, from the moment you enter the door, there are hand sanitizers, there are the social distance markings,” said Boyd.
Egbert says wearing a mask is not for her safety.
“I think people really need to understand that one wears a mask for the sake of others and that other people’s freedom ends at my freedom,” said Egbert. “We both are free, so I am wearing a mask to keep them safe, and I’d like them to wear a mask to keep me safe.”
KOLR10 reached out to united airlines about their masking policies and how to enforce them. The company responded, saying all travelers and crew members are required to wear a mask and those who don’t can “potentially be revoked from travel privileges.”