Alaska Airlines flight out of Spokane delayed over passengers refusing to wear masks

SPOKANE, Wash. — An Alaska Airlines flight out of Spokane was delayed. Not because of mechanical problems, but because several passengers refused to wear their masks.

Even after a warning from flight attendants, several passengers on board the flight from Spokane to Portland refused to cover their face.

“There were was a lot of really nice people on this plane that just wanted to go home,” said Karyn Schimmels.

She was one of those passengers last Sunday, on her way home from Spokane to Portland.

Alaska flight 2698 was scheduled to take off on time.

“Once they were seated, removed their mask below their nose and were not willing to put it back up,” said Schimmels.

She says about 10 passengers in the back of the plane refused to cover their faces properly.

“They just had a lot of disregard for the other passengers on the plane,” said Schimmels. “I wear my mask for myself but also for everybody else.”

They were warned by flight attendants and Schimmel says they still refused to pull their masks up. Then they were given yellow cards- a final notice.

After that, passengers who refuse to wear a mask won’t be allowed to fly on Alaska as long as the policy remains in effect.

Schimmels says the group still wouldn’t budge.

“They removed everyone from the plane, we all had to get our personal belongings and our luggage and go back into the lobby,” said Schimmels.

“I heard them talking to a couple of the airline folks. ‘Can you really do this to us?’ You know, when the police arrived: ‘Can they really do this to us?,” Schimmels said.

The flight was delayed 45 minutes, and Schimmels isn’t sure if the stubborn group was allowed back on. According to Alaska, suspensions happen immediately upon landing. However, the yellow cards were handed out before takeoff.

“We had to be inconvenienced because they didn’t like that rule,” said Schimmels. “It was only a 45-minute delay, I was amazed by that and a very smooth flight home, so I was just happy to get home.”

4 News Now reached out to Alaska to see what happened to those passengers. We did not hear back.

Other airlines like Delta and United require face coverings while on board planes. They also are threatening to ban passengers from future flights if they don’t follow the rule.