Flying The Non-Friendly Skies With Anti-Mask A-Holes

Five overgrown babies were asked to leave a Spirit Airlines flight out of Fort Lauderdale because they refused to wear masks inside the plane. Spirit's mask policy isn't new, and no one has a right to fly without adhering to an airline's safety protocols. But these five brave lads from New Jersey fought for their personal freedom to pose a public health hazard.

When asked to get off the plane, Drake William Loyd, 24, John Anthony Bruce, 24, Matthew L. Novak, 24, Michael A. Lloyd, 23, and William J. Lloyd, 53 (OK, he's probably not a “lad"), started a commotion inside the terminal, shouting profanities as Broward County police showed up to drag escort them out of the airport.

Drake William Lloyd reportedly pushed a deputy, then his proud father, William Lloyd, pushed another deputy. It's nice when fathers and sons share interests but not when it involves physical violence. Both were charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. (It's weird how those are two separate charges, as if there's an orderly way to beat up a cop.) The Lloyds' three friends were arrested for just plain vanilla disorderly conduct.

These dullards are looking at jail time because they couldn't wear a damn mask for a two-and-half hour flight to New Jersey. If they didn't know how to put on a mask without suffocating themselves, the flight attendants probably would've shown them, just like how they take the time to explain how to fasten a seat belt for any passengers who've never been in an automobile.

But this was probably about FREEDOM because half the nation has chosen to make masks the next big battle in our endless culture war. Of course, airlines have had to deal with entitled fools for decades. When in-flight smoking was banned after scientists confirmed inhaling fire was bad, flight attendants had to deal with people deactivating smoke alarms in bathrooms. (This happened on several flights my wife and I have taken.) There was also the occasional asshole who thought they were Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and would say, “What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?" Well, yeah, white lady, you can face stiff penalties for defying clearly stated rules and laws, even if you're not wearing underwear.

Airlines have reported an unprecedented number of incidents involving assholes on their flights. Between 2010 and 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration investigated a total of 1,548 cases involving bad behavior from passengers, but the FAA told The Washington Post in June that it had received about 2,900 reports of "unruly passenger behavior" just since January.

Roughly 2,200 of those involved passengers who would not comply with the federal mandate to wear a face covering. The agency identified potential violations in 446 of those cases and has started enforcement action in 42.

At least the jerks who pitched a fit if they couldn't smoke on planes were addicted to nicotine. We don't need to look up average flight crew salaries to state definitively that they aren't paid enough to deal with this crap. Yes, they often handle the “unruly passengers" with comedic aplomb, such as the American Airlines crew member who read a nasty passenger for filth when she insulted a fellow employee over wearing a mask.

In the video, the man notes that the woman called his employee a "bitch," which he says is "entirely uncalled for" and "inappropriate" before informing the woman that she will not be flying with the airline.

"We don't tolerate that crap, with us, at all," the employee says, before inviting Karen to "find another carrier to fly. I'd suggest Spirit."

By the way, Spirit staff hold no illusions about its low-rent status. A Spirit flight attendant reportedly told passengers before a flight that if they could afford the fines for violating mask guidelines, they wouldn't be flying Spirit. Damn.

But there are also situations like the little shit on a Frontier flight who allegedly groped two flight attendants while bragging about how rich his mommy and daddy are. After he punched a flight attendant, the crew duct taped his to his seat until they landed in Miami. Instead of awarding them medals and hazard pay, Frontier reportedly suspended the crew for taking action to protect themselves and other passengers. That's some bullshit.

No wonder that Spirit pilots and crew are (wink) so exhausted they're just plumb missing flights over the past few days. You don't have to wear a mask if you're walking to your final destination.

[Local 10]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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