Tuesday morning’s Flight 652 from Calgary to Toronto was stopped, and all passengers were ordered to disembark.
“It’s unlike anything I have ever witnessed, let alone experienced,” Mr Choudhry told the BBC.
Mr Choudhry told the BBC his oldest daughter, who is three, was eating a snack before take-off when flight attendants approached them asking that both their children wear a mask. He said he and his wife were masked.
He said he asked if his daughter could finish her snack, but that they said they had a “zero tolerance policy” and would not close the airplane door without her wearing a mask. Mr Choudhry said he agreed to put one on immediately.
“Most children you have to kind of ease them into it, which is a code word for let me get the iPad out,” he told the BBC.
He says the three-year-old did put on a mask, after some fussing.
Mr Choudhry says he and his wife were respectful. They ultimately agreed to leave.
He later learned that according to Canadian transportation policy, only children over two are required to wear a mask, and thus his 19-month-old did not have to put one on.
What does WestJet say? WestJet disputes that the three-year-old put a mask on.
The airline said in a statement: “Due to non-compliance of the parents to place a mask on their older child who is over the age of two, our crew informed the adults of the regulations we are required to follow.
Some passengers can be heard in video of the incident heckling the police and air crew.
The officer later confirms that when he arrived, the oldest child was wearing a mask.
A fellow passenger, Marian Nur, also recorded some of the interactions with flight staff, because she was worried the family was being targeted because of their race and religion – Mr Choudhry’s wife wears a hijab.
“I was so shocked, the parents never raised their voices, they never got angry with the attendants, they were just trying to reason with them,” she told CBC.
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