By MINA KAJI, GIO BENITEZ, and SAM SWEENEY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A mother and her six children were kicked off of a JetBlue Airways flight Wednesday after her 2-year-old daughter refused to wear a mask.
“It was extremely traumatizing for me and my family,” the mother, Chaya Bruck, 39, from Brooklyn, said in an interview with ABC News.
Bruck said she tried to put a mask on her youngest child, Dina, but she pulled it off.
“Should I tie her hands, what should I do?” Bruck asked the JetBlue flight attendant according to a video of the incident. “We have to deplane,” the attendant responded, explaining that the airline has a zero tolerance policy.
Other passengers onboard the flight to New York from Orlando attempted to stick up for Bruck, according to the video and passengers.
“All of the passengers were up, screaming, and hollering saying ‘that’s not fair, don’t do that to that mother,'” passenger Anny Taveras, from Kissimmee, Florida, told ABC News. The flight eventually took off after everyone deplaned.
U.S. airlines continue to strengthen their mask requirements, and have even banned passengers who don’t comply.
JetBlue, along with most major airlines, requires any child age 2 and over to wear a face covering in order to fly, the airline said in a statement.
A JetBlue spokesperson said the airline’s policy was last updated on Aug. 10 “to ensure everyone is wearing a face covering — adults and children alike” and is consistent with CDC guidelines, which say children under 2 should not wear masks.
However, Taveras and Bruck claim that during the announcements, the flight attendant said children who cannot wear a mask are exempt.
Another passenger, Chardette Poinsette, who was traveling with her young son, claims her family was also kicked off the flight.
“I stuck up for her, and I think I was the one who stood out the most because what I was saying was correct,” Poinsette said.
MORE: Airlines may ban passengers who refuse to wear masks
Both Bruck and Poinsette’s families flew home on different U.S. airlines.
“I need some time to recover from this,” Bruck said. “My kids need to recover from this.”
ABC News’ Amanda Maile and Jennifer Leong contributed to this report.
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