New Jersey brothers kicked off flight to Super Bowl over specialty face masks

A New Jersey man traveling to Tampa to work at the Super Bowl was kicked off a flight because of the special face mask he was wearing.

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Robert Joseph works in security and was taking a flight to the Super Bowl for his job. He had not flown since last March. A relative died from the coronavirus, so Joseph spent $85 on a Narwall mask, which has a face shield and breathing filter, which resembled a gas mask, for safety, WNBC reported.

“Going into the airport, I felt safe wearing (this mask), like my own little bubble around my face to keep it protected,” Joseph said.

His brother William Joseph was traveling with him. They were handed different masks when they tried to board their 11 a.m. flight on Jan. 23, NorthJersey.com reported. He said they eventually put on the masks they were handed, but tried to carry theirs aboard and were told they were prohibited.

“At that point they turned to me and said, ‘It’s not allowed on the plane, if you’re not happy with our policies, you can leave.’ I said, ‘No, I’m fine, I’m going to go sit down, you don’t have to hear another word from me,” Robert Joseph said. “At that point they said, ‘No, we already told you to leave, get off.’ That’s when it spiraled out of control.”

They were kicked off the flight and waited seven hours for another.

United Airlines said it does not allow that type of mask.

“It could potentially create certain impediments in emergency scenarios, such as preventing clear communication between customers and crew members,” the airline told WNBC.

The airline said the brothers were not banned but the mask is prohibited.

Joseph said they plan to return on another airline, that allows that type of mask.