NASHVILLE — Two people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after reportedly refusing to wear masks aboard flights at Nashville International Airport.
One passenger disrupted a Spirit Airlines flight Monday by refusing to wear a mask and calling the flight crew “vulgar names,” an arrest affidavit showed. They were denied any further travel with the airline and stayed overnight at the airport while awaiting an American Airlines flight. The person again refused to wear a mask at a checkpoint Tuesday and on board the aircraft and was arrested, the affidavit stated.
In a separate incident, another person reportedly became “unruly” when asked to wear a mask on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday, records show, causing the aircraft to return to the gate. The person smelled of alcohol, was cussing loudly and was initially aggressive toward officers before being arrested, according to an affidavit.
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“The safety and security of passengers, employees and guests is the utmost priority of Nashville International Airport,” airport spokesperson Kym Gerlock said in an email. “Working with our airline partners and adhering to the federal mask mandate, the airport’s Department of Public Safety is committed to carrying out that mission and is fully trained and equipped to do so.”
The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that it will extend its current travel mask mandate through Jan. 18 for airplanes, trains, buses, airports and train stations. The agency said the extension is an effort to “minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation.”
Both passengers face a disorderly conduct charge and have separate court appearances set for Sept. 3.
Find reporter Rachel Wegner at email@example.com or on Twitter @rachelannwegner.