Rocklin woman says she was kicked off Southwest flight for eating M&M’s with mask down

Local News

ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) – A Rocklin mother is sharing her experience after she and her 3-year-old daughter were removed from a Southwest Airlines flight from San Diego to Sacramento.

Lily Chepurny says she was eating with her mask down after the flight attendant told her to put it on.

Moments later she was told to get off the plane.

“This was so blown out of proportion,” Chepurny told FOX40. “To escalate the situation rapidly, rather than deescalate. It was so inappropriate.”

It all started with a pack of M&M’s. Chepurny says after not eating all day she opened the bag as the plane was leaving the gate.

“The mask is around ears, my daughter is masked up. I start to pop in one after another,” she explained. “This is not entertainment snacking, I’m talking about M&M binging.”

Chepurny said a Southwest flight attendant told her to mask up while eating or she will be kicked off the plane.

“She came to me one time, which I assumed was a warning,” Chepurny said.

But soon, the plane returned from the runway back to the gate.

Chepurny and her daughter got off the plane and were met by police.

“shocking,” she said. “To turn the corner of the airplane and see four officers standing there, it was like, this is not my life.”

The Port of San Diego Harbor police told FOX40 in a statement,

“We can confirm that we received a call for a disturbance on an aircraft. Harbor Police responded and determined there was no crime that was committed, and took a report on the incident.”

Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department

Southwest Airlines and TSA rules state face masks may be removed while eating, but the mask must be worn between bites.

Chepurny says she has flown Southwest hundreds of times this past year and doesn’t have an issue with wearing a mask.

But she does take issue with how the situation escalated.

“Get it together,” she said.

Chepurny says she spoke with federal and local authorities and was allowed to get on another flight and return to Sacramento.

FOX40 reached out to Southwest Airlines for comment, but have not heard back.

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