Air marshals and airline employees that have worn masks or apparel or indicated support for the U.S. flag, military, law enforcement or President Donald on social media are being targeted for harassment by Frontier, Delta and American Airlines according to an official for an air marshal advocacy group.
Sonya LaBosco, a former air marshal supervisory agent and president of the Air Marshal National Council in Orlando, Florida, told Newsmax TV on Friday that her organization has reports of two air marshals being impeded from boarding flights by Frontier for wearing mask that gate agents deemed not acceptable.
“As this thing has started to snowball, you can see to where this is growing in the aviation industry, where pro law enforcement, pro Trump, pro constitution, pro flag supporters are being brought to the side…over a flag mask that they’re wearing,” she said on “The Chris Salcedo Show.” “Not appropriate. We’ve got to stand up.
“This is not a singular, or by any means one-dimensional issue. This is happening nationwide.”
Host Chris Salcedo relayed one of the two incidents relayed to him by LaBosco. He detailed how an air marshal, Rob O’Neil, who was wearing a U.S. flag emblazoned mask, was told he could not wear his “gaiter-style” mask – a sleeve-like cloth that fits over the nose, mouth and neck. He was presented with one by the gate agent, upon which he wore it and put his original overtop but was still told he had to remove it before he could board.
Salcedo displayed a graphic with a statement from Frontier that said the agent felt that the type of mask was the issue, not any message displayed on it.
However, LaBosco said that the air marshal was the only passenger detained out of those that boarded, which included six identifiable supporters of Black Lives Matter and other with gaiter masks.
LaBosco said that while the two episodes with Frontier are the only reports they’ve had involving air marshals, since word of the incidents have spread, employees from Delta and American have “inundated” her organization with requests for assistance.
“There is actually a behind-the-scenes competition and a bounty going on within the airlines themselves with regard to trying to find ways to give individuals mask violations,” LaBosco said. “Their social media accounts are being searched prior to their coming to the airport. The companies are watching their social media accounts.”
She referred to the report that former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, who has claimed to be the shooter that killed Osama Bin Laden, was banned from Delta for posting a photograph of himself on one of its planes without wearing a mask.
“Now that we’re talking about Rob O’Neill, it would make you suspect that maybe they knew who he was when he was getting on the plane with his mask and they were looking to try to find a way to…ban him on the airline,” LaBosco said.
“We have been flooded with information, airline employees asking us for help, because they feel stuck in this environment where if they don’t issue these mask violations to pro-Trump supporters, pro-Constitution, pro-flag individuals, they themselves are being written up. The companies are also searching their social media accounts within the flight industry, and if they company sees that someone has an anti-BLM protest or some type of anti-BLM social media, they’re given a warning and being disciplined.
“If there is a second issue, they are being terminated.”
American, which announced last week it was supplying pins for supporters of Black Lives Matter to wear as part of their uniform, responded with a statement that did not directly address the claims that employees or passengers are being targeted by the company.
“American Airlines celebrates diversity among our team members and our customers, and we work hard to create an inclusive culture where people from all backgrounds and beliefs feel welcome onboard our aircraft and at work,” it said. “Our Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs) represent the range of team members and their beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds, including Veterans, Christians and many others.”
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