Ted Cruz Under Investigation by American Airlines For Not Wearing Mask During Flight

American Airlines announced on Sunday that they were investigating Republican Senator Ted Cruz for not wearing his mask on a flight.

A photo of Cruz went viral over the weekend after he was spotted sitting in his seat without a mask on. Cruz was clearly holding a cup of coffee in his hand and wouldn't been able to drink it with his mask off.


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Check out what the Daily Wire reported:

Cruz, who was clearly holding a hot drink in a cup, was not wearing a mask as required by airline regulations.

The operative, Hosseh Enad, surreptitiously snapped the photo of Cruz Sunday morning as Cruz was seated aboard an American Airlines flight. Enad claimed Cruz was “refusing to wear a mask,” though he did not note whether Cruz made any statements to that effect to the flight crew or other passengers.

It is also not clear whether flight crew or other passengers spoke to Cruz directly about his mask (or lack thereof).

"Captured today at 10:45am — @TedCruz on a commercial flight, refusing to wear a mask," said the liberal operative.

The Daily Wire continues:

Social media users quickly pointed out that American Airlines has an explicit exception in its rules for eating and drinking, and Cruz was clearly enjoying a beverage.

“Your face covering may be removed to eat or drink,” the regulations say, “but please put it back on when you’re done.”

Enad responded by saying that Cruz could have worn a mask and simply undone “one side to take a sip and put it back on,” because he was “taking time” drinking his coffee. The American Airlines requirements do not say that passengers must replace their masks between sips and swallows, nor do the rules put a time limit on how long a passenger can take drinking a beverage.

Cruz's office spoke out against the viral video, saying that he wasn't violating airline policy because he was drinking coffee.

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“Senator Cruz wears a mask when traveling and practices social distancing where possible,” the statement said. “Consistent with airline policy, he temporarily removes the mask while eating or drinking. Yesterday during his flight he removed his mask to drink and put it back on afterward.”

Another photo which was shared by Twitter user Comfortably Smug, shows Cruz wearing a mask on a flight.

The Daily Wire adds:

Ted Cruz has not made any statements against wearing a mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus and is regularly photographed wearing a mask — typically one with the Houston Rockets logo — while at work in Congress.

Regardless of the statement and the alternate photograph, American Airlines told Enad that they plan on reviewing the photo and investigating the incident.

“American Airlines, which requires all passengers to wear masks during the duration of their flight, said it is reviewing the situation after photographs emerged of Sen. Ted Cruz not wearing a mask on a plane,” The Hill reported Monday.

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all those who fly with us, and we are reviewing the details of this matter,” an airline spokesperson added to the outlet. The airline tweeted the same message at Enad after he posted the photo, and to other “concerned passengers” who tagged American Airlines in their response tweets.

American Airlines has required passengers to wear masks since resuming widespread service in June. The airline says it “expect[s] customers who choose to fly with us to comply with these policies, and if necessary, we will deny future travel for customers who refuse to do so.”

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