A New Jersey mom has slammed JetBlue who she says surrounded her family and ‘threw masks in her face’ after she was unable to get her autistic two-year-old to wear his mask before take-off.

Jennifer Minsky, 44, of East Orange, New York, told CBS that she eventually had to give her son Ezra melatonin to get him to fall asleep so she could put a mask on him and the flight could finally take off from Cancun.

Minsky, who has been an elementary school teacher for the past two years, added that she and her husband were aware of the airline mask policy, and that they didn’t experience any issues on the flight out of Newark.

But, when returning from the family vacation, her toddler did not want to wear his mask, as per the federal mask mandate for air travel.

Minsky says that instead of being understanding, the airline crew were unhelpful and shamed her. 

In a phone-recorded video, rotating crew of flight attendants and air traffic controllers can be seen standing over Minsky as she desperately tries to get her teary son to wear his mask. 

‘They could clearly see that Ezra was upset, and the culmination of people being over him, he has sensory issues, so people that he didn’t know were over on top of our family, throwing masks in our face,’ Minsky told CBS. 

Prior to the incident, the family's (pictured) return trip was delayed for three days, following multiple cancellations from JetBlue Minksy (right) also claims that JetBlue was informed ahead of time of her son's mental condition and even had a letter from her doctor to prove it before it was disregarded

Prior to the incident, the family's (pictured) return trip was delayed for three days, following multiple cancellations from JetBlue Minksy (right) also claims that JetBlue was informed ahead of time of her son's mental condition and even had a letter from her doctor to prove it before it was disregarded

Prior to the incident, the family’s (pictured) return trip was delayed for three days, following multiple cancellations from JetBlue Minksy (right) also claims that JetBlue was informed ahead of time of her son’s mental condition and even had a letter from her doctor to prove it before it was disregarded

An air-traffic controller, wearing an orange, vest behind a passenger on board a flight from Cancun to Newark

An air-traffic controller, wearing an orange, vest behind a passenger on board a flight from Cancun to Newark

Minsky said both JetBlue staff and air traffic controllers were not helpful in the incident

Minsky said both JetBlue staff and air traffic controllers were not helpful in the incident

In video footage, Minsky and her family were confronted by JetBlue crew who stood over them and were ‘throwing masks in our face’ for half an hour before the mother-of-two drugged her son with melatonin

There was chaos on board the flight from Cancun to Newark, as one flight attendant can be heard telling the family: 'We need to take off right now.'

There was chaos on board the flight from Cancun to Newark, as one flight attendant can be heard telling the family: 'We need to take off right now.'

There was chaos on board the flight from Cancun to Newark, as one flight attendant can be heard telling the family: ‘We need to take off right now.’

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Fearing things would potentially escalate to the point where they would be taken off the plane, Minksy and her husband finally gave in after half an hour and drugged up their son with a light dose of melatonin, a sleeping supplement, so they could put a mask on his face without him realizing it.

‘I can’t believe I even did that. We carry the melatonin for my older son. Ezra’s not even old enough for melatonin. He in fact did fall asleep and we put the mask on him,’ Minsky said. 

According to Healthline, young children should avoid melatonin unless otherwise provided by a doctor. Doses between one and five milligrams may cause seizure or other neurological complications for toddlers. 

The mother of two also claims that JetBlue was informed ahead of time of her son’s mental condition and even had a letter from her doctor to prove it. However, the crew on the return flight disregarded the letter and ordered Ezra to mask-up.

‘They wouldn’t have anything to do with it,’ she said. 

Prior to the incident, the family’s return trip was delayed for three days, following multiple cancellations from JetBlue.

The airline, like many others in the industry, has cancelled hundreds of flights in recent weeks due to a shortage of staff exposed to the omicron variant of COVID-19. 

Minsky told CBS new that she couldn't believe that she had to give her son melatonin, which can cause serious neurological complication to young children, including seizures

Minsky told CBS new that she couldn't believe that she had to give her son melatonin, which can cause serious neurological complication to young children, including seizures

Minsky told CBS new that she couldn’t believe that she had to give her son melatonin, which can cause serious neurological complication to young children, including seizures

Minsky says that her and her family plan to never use the JetBlue again after the incident

Minsky says that her and her family plan to never use the JetBlue again after the incident

Minsky says that her and her family plan to never use the JetBlue again after the incident

Travel expert Peter Greenberg told CBS that managing request for special needs on a flight is all about pre-flight communication and notifying airlines well ahead of time.  

‘The fact that she talked to JetBlue on the phone, she didn’t confirm it in an email. The fact that she talked to the gate agent, she didn’t confirm that the gate agent transferred that conversation to the flight crew. It’s a bad game of telephone at that point,’ he said. 

‘You need to be communicating and you need to confirm that communication because once you’re on that plane and the door’s closed, your rights, or the understanding of your rights, no longer rests with you,’ he added. 

Minsky revealed that her family had been offered credit as compensation after the trip. A spokesman for JetBlue also told CBS the family should have applied for a mask exemption before their outbound flight to Mexico, but did not offer details over the incident.

‘With no exemption applied for beforehand, multiple crewmembers worked together to adjust seating assignments so this family could sit together and worked to eventually gain compliance and avoid further disruption to their travel plans,’ the statement read.  

Minsky says that her and her family plan to never use the airline again, if they can avoid it. The date of when they travelled back home remains unclear.

Dailymail.com has reached out to both JetBlue for comment, specifically regarding the incident, and Minsky for comment.

Source: Daily Mail

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