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UFC fighter Cody Garbrandt and son kicked off Southwest flight over mask dispute

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UFC fighter Cody Garbrandt’s latest opponent is the crew of a Southwest Airlines plane who booted him and his son from a flight over a mask dispute.

Instead of throwing punches, the former bantamweight champion is jabbing insults online.

Garbrandt posted a pair of videos to his Instagram on Thursday as he said he “got kicked off” because his 2-year-old son wouldn’t put his mask over his face.

UFC fighter Cody Garbrandt’s latest opponent is the crew of a Southwest Airlines plane who booted him and his son from a flight over a mask dispute. (iStock)

UFC fighter Cody Garbrandt’s latest opponent is the crew of a Southwest Airlines plane who booted him and his son from a flight over a mask dispute. (iStock)

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“This coward flight attendant hid his b—- a– in the bathroom,” Garbrandt wrote on one post, with a video showing someone close the plane restroom’s door and a crew member telling the professional mixed martial arts fighter to turn off his camera and “exit the aircraft.”

In a second video, Garbrandt appears to step past crew members and into the open cockpit, where the pilots are sitting without masks on their faces.

“Kicking a [2-year-old] off a plane ride but your captains aren’t wearing their masks, while we all are full capacity sharing the same air,” Garbrandt wrote. “What a joke.”

Instead of throwing punches, the former bantamweight champion is jabbing insults online. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

Instead of throwing punches, the former bantamweight champion is jabbing insults online. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

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A Southwest Airlines spokesperson pointed to federal mask mandate requiring everyone 2 and older to wear a mask at all times during flights.

“We communicate the face covering mandate to all customers at multiple touchpoints throughout the travel journey, including during booking, in a pre-trip email sent prior to departure, and during a required acknowledgement that is part of the customer health declaration Fform and appears during the check-in process on the Southwest app, Southwest.com, Southwest’s mobile website, and airport kiosks,” the spokesperson said.

A federal mask mandate requires everyone 2 and older to wear a mask at all times during flights. (Stephen M. Keller)

A federal mask mandate requires everyone 2 and older to wear a mask at all times during flights. (Stephen M. Keller)

Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration updated its guidelines for airlines, issuing a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) outlining the continued need for masks, and recommending they follow the latest coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes updates on cleaning aircraft and spotting COVID-19 symptoms.

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As for Garbrandt, he “opted not to fly on Southwest, and [was] offered a full refund of their tickets,” the airline spokesperson said.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and spirit of cooperation among Southwest customers and employees as we collectively take care of each other while striving to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” they added.



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