A New Jersey gym owner who defied his state’s lockdown last May by reopening his business has now been banned from flying on American Airlines after refusing to wear a mask on one of their flights, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
Ian Smith posted on Instagram a letter from the airline that he has been banned from all their flights until face coverings are “no longer required” after he refused to wear one while traveling back from the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
The flight ban was implemented after Smith uploaded a video in which he shows himself not wearing a mask before, during, and after the flight, the Daily Mail reported.
Writing alongside the screenshot of the email, Smith insisted that "This does not bother me. I will happily take any punishment these people wish to hand me. I will happily find a work-around."
American Airlines representative Andrew Trull told the New York Post that Smith had been banned “for failure to comply with repeated crew member requests to wear a face covering.”
Smith has slammed mask rules as “silly and useless” and encourages those who oppose them to “have fun” ignoring them.
There are 35 states with enforced rules that masks must be worn when in public, including Pennsylvania, where Smith had been flying to, according to the Daily Mail.
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