Fla. Man Wearing Thong on Face Gets Booted From Flight

Adam Jenne compares actions on 'absurd' mask rules to those of Rosa Parks; United disagrees
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2021 9:51 AM CST
Fla. Man Wearing Thong on Face Gets Booted From Flight
Screenshot of Jenne on the plane before being booted.   (YouTube/NBC2 News)

(Newser) – As far as masks-on-planes incidents go, it's a new one: A Cape Coral, Florida, man has been banned for the time being from United Airlines after he tried to fly from South Florida to Washington, DC, wearing a red thong on his face instead of an approved mask. WFTX and WSVN report the incident took place Wednesday morning on Flight 1750, before the plane took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"You're going to have to come off the airplane. We're not going to let you travel," a crew member can be seen telling Adam Jenne—who has the colorful women's underwear casually secured around at least one ear and draped across parts of his face—in a cellphone video shot by a fellow passenger. When Jenne asks why he has to get off the plane, the crew member replies, "You're not in mask compliance." Jenne does leave the plane, and another passenger is then seen confronting the crew member over Jenne's departure, seemingly defending Jenne. "Forget it, I'm out of here," that man says before apparently departing the plane himself.

Jenne says several passengers got off in his support, and that the thong covered his mouth and nose, as per TSA guidelines. He also says he wore it to show how "absurd" the rules are regarding masks. "Illustrating that absurdity by wearing women's underwear on my face sounds perfect," he tells WFTX. In an interview with NBC2, he compares his actions to those of famous civil rights activists. "Everything else that has sparked change in this country has started from everyday people," he says. "Rosa Parks was nobody famous. She changed the course of history."

United Airlines doesn't quite agree with his assessment, saying in a statement: "The customer clearly wasn't in compliance with the federal mask mandate and we appreciate that our team addressed the issue on the ground prior to takeoff, avoiding any potential disruptions in the air." Jenne says he has also received a letter from United noting he can't fly with them until a review of the incident has taken place. He says this isn't the first time he's flown with the underwear on his face, and that while sometimes he's been greeted with "wild appreciation" for his stunt, he's also been asked to leave at least one other flight. (Read more face masks stories.)

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