Woman ‘humiliated’ by easyJet pilot for not wearing mask despite ‘exemption’

A plane passenger was "humiliated" by the pilot and the crew members for not wearing a face mask, despite claiming to be medically exempt.

Lydia Rutter, 27, was on board an easyJet flight along with friend Nick, 33, returning from Tenerife to Manchester on December 15.

In a video shared by Nick on Twitter, an air hostess is seen standing beside Lydia and asking her to wear a face mask.

Lydia can be seen wearing a green sunflower lanyard, a discreet sign to show others that the wearer has a non-obvious disability.

She tells the staff member: "I am having a panic attack, can you move away."

Lydia then buries her head in her hands as Nick asks: "Lydia, why are you exempt?"

"I’m medically exempt," she replies.

A captain's announcement is then heard over the tannoy, asking passengers to stop causing disruption to others by not wearing face masks.

He added: "Please use your mask in the way it is supposed to be used.

"It is causing disruption to the passengers around you and the last thing that we want to do is to display this further as we go into Manchester.

"We’ve all been on duty since six o'clock this morning, most of us left our houses at about five o'clock so the last thing that we want to be doing when we get back to Manchester is having to deal with calling the police to the aircraft and any further escalation that is required.

"So one final time, please do listen to instructions given from the crew and that way we won't have to take this issue any further, thank you."

The flight then erupts in a round of applause from other passengers.

When the plane touched down at Manchester Airport, Lydia was met by a number of police.

In another clip, a policewoman is heard telling her: "In the future if you are in an aircraft, you need the letter for your terms and conditions for yourself when you need to board an aircraft, okay?"

Lydia shared the footage to Facebook, where she claimed: "I stayed sat down, I didn't shout, swear or act in a bad manner whatsoever."

Speaking today, Nick explained: “She was approached by the manager of the aircraft and was asked to put a mask on on numerous occasions even though she had her lanyard clearly visible around her neck.

“It was explained to her that it states on the government website if wearing a mask causes you any kind of stress with an exemption she shouldn't have been asked to wear it over and over again."

EasyJet said Lydia was unable to provide a medical certificate or doctors letter, as per government guidelines.

Nick said: "The pilot made it known over the speaker and embarrassed her."

A spokesperson for EasyJet told Daily Star: "In line with guidelines, all passengers are currently required to bring their own face mask for their flight which must be worn during boarding and onboard.

"We know some passengers may not be able to wear a mask and so we also inform all customers of what to do if they require an exemption which is to provide a medical certificate or doctors letter as evidence of an exemption. This was not provided on this occasion.

"Unfortunately, due to the passenger becoming disruptive, it was necessary for the police to attend on arrival in Manchester. The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is our highest priority."

Daily Star has contacted Greater Manchester Police for comment.

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